William and Mary Digest

Removal of asbestos-contaminated soil at Barrett Hall

Students living in Barrett Hall on the college’s campus received an email Monday that the asbestos-contaminated soil stored in sealed waste bags under the building’s crawlspace are being removed.

The email stated the removal would take place from July 9-20. Licensed contractors will remove the bags with forklifts into a roll-off container, from which they will be properly disposed. Removal workers will wear Tyvek suits and respirators to protect themselves from dust in the crawl space from concrete work that took place in 2017.

Since the bags are sealed, the college said there is no risk of asbestos exposure to residents of Barrett Hall. However, a Virginia licensed Project Monitor will monitor the activities and will take air samples to make sure proper work practices are followed.

College to mark site of 18th century school for black children

William and Mary will erect a highway marker commemorating the spot where evidence indicates the Bray School for enslaved and free African-American children was located, according to a news release from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

The marker will be placed as soon as early fall on Prince George Street near the Brown Hall archaeological site, a dormitory that is located just off the edge of the main campus.

The college’s request for the marker was approved by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources on June 21. The marker is expected to take two months for the foundry, Sewah Studios, to manufacture.

The Associates of Dr. Bray, a London-based charity, founded a school in 1760. A Williamsburg location was agreed upon at the suggestion of Benjamin Franklin, who was a member of the association.

The school was open for 14 years, closing in 1774. During that time as many as 400 boys and girls received instruction from a teacher named Anne Wager. She taught the principles of Christianity, deportment, reading and, possibly, writing, although that is open for debate.

During excavation of the Brown Hall site several years ago, bits of approximately 40 slate pencils were discovered, leading investigators to conclude that writing was among the subjects taught. However, further analysis of the curriculum showed that the teaching of writing was never mentioned by the Associates or their correspondents as a component of the skills anticipated to be taught in the Bray Schools.

Citizen lawyers abroad

For the 17th consecutive summer, William and Mary law students have left the comfort of Williamsburg to work in challenging environments such as these, contributing to post-conflict reconstruction efforts and the rule of law in countries struggling to recover from war, genocide and chaos.

For students hoping to embark on international careers, hands-on field experience gained during these internships “can make all the difference between securing a desirable interview with a prestigious international organization or law firm and being passed over,” said Center Director Christie Warren, professor of the practice of international and comparative law, in a prepared statement.

This year’s 19 nascent citizen-lawyers are making their mark. These rising second- and third-year law students are engaged in system-wide reform in the countries where they are stationed. For example, Layla Abi-Falah, whose work in Amman, Jordan, is part of a comprehensive decentralization plan undertaken by the nation’s government. Camden Kelliher is analyzing electoral disputes filed in the Constitutional Court of Indonesia.

Since 2002, the Law School’s Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding has sponsored summer internships for 174 students in 47 countries.

College of William and Mary news releases were used in this report.

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