Unless you’ve been living under a gold-plated rock, you’ve most likely read at some point of the dismal conditions in which students attend public school in Detroit, Michigan. You’ve also likely heard that the city of Flint, Michigan, has been poisoned with lead-tainted water—both issues of which the now nationally loathed and distrusted Gov. Rick Snyder has had, and continues to have, his “nerdy” little hands all over via stripping Michigan of its democracy through the financial emergency management law he enacted, and then re-enacted when voters actually voted in favor of its removal. Now, reports are coming out of the already-poisoned, disrespected city of Flint, that like Detroit, it’s schools are also hazard zones crumbling into oblivion. Well done, Snyder! Meanwhile, kids go to these schools every day.
Fourth ward Flint City Councilwoman Kate Fields said:
“It’s appalling, that Flint children have to go to school in these conditions.”
Those conditions include “[f]looded hallways, ceilings caving in and filthy conditions,” and that’s after parents and staff navigate to the school through a minefield of stubborn, unruly potholes “so bad some people actually bl[o]w out their tires.” Fields said:
“They have garbage cans in the halls collecting water, which smells, tiles are falling from the ceiling and it’s running down the walls.”
Sound familiar? That’s because stories of schools in similar condition have been coming out of Detroit for years. None of it is okay.
Fields said she “couldn’t help but snap some photos” when she visited Potter Elementary School a month ago seeking signatures in hope of re-election. The conditions surprised her so, she had to take pictures. She said:
“What I discovered really appalled me. Go in the boys bathroom and turn on the tap, the water runs to the floor. There are pools of water. The door is off the girl’s bathroom.”
Parent Pete Lazo, whose daughter attends Potter Elementary, said he has been pressuring the school to “paint over” profanity written on the bathroom walls, but has seen no results so far. He stated:
“My kids deserve better than this. All of the kids do. They should do something about this.”
According to Fields, the city council is not in a position to do anything regarding the dilapidated school because it is actually owned by Flint Community Schools. It is also estimated to be $8 million in debt. Fields said:
“They have to do something, no money is no excuse, this is dangerous. I think OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] would shut this place down.”
As for Lazo, he’s through waiting for the bathroom stalls to be painted, the roof to be repaired and the potholes to be filled in. “Come next year,” he said, “my daughter is not going to be going to this school because of the way it is.”
Local ABC12 reports:
“We have reached out to the superintendent and his office multiple times over the last couple of weeks. We were told, in an email, that he would call about the issue, but that did not happen in time for this story.”
This is the state of education in Michigan under Gov. Rick Snyder.
Featured image by ABC12 via video screen capture.