Detroit Public Schools: Kids Fed Up With Rats, Mice & Mold

Michigan Student’s Sick Of Rats, Dead Bugs, Feces, Mushrooms And Mold At School (VIDEO)

You think Flint’s got problems? Get a load of the public health crisis unfolding in the Detroit Public Schools (you won’t believe the photos at the end of this article). And in case you’re wondering what the Hell is wrong with Michigan, it turns out these rust belt cities share two things in common: (1) A majority-black population; and (2) Darnell Early, the unelected “emergency manager” forced upon them by Michigan’s GOP Gov. Rick Snyder.

What President Barack Obama said last week about Snyder’s handling of Flint’s water crisis also applies to the Detroit Public School system’s third-worldly conditions.

“It is a reminder of why you can’t shortchange basic services that we provide to our people and that we, together, provide as a government to make sure that public health and safety is preserved.”

Democracy Now! reports 88 of the 100-odd Detroit Public Schools were shut down as teachers staged a “sick out” — teacher strikes are illegal in the GOP’s Michigan — to protest the dire lack of maintenance and upkeep for the city’s crumbling schools.

On Wednesday, 88 of Detroit’s roughly 100 public schools were closed in the latest mass teacher “sickouts” protesting underfunding, black mold, rat infestations, crumbling buildings, inadequate staffing. Detroit’s public schools are under the control of unelected emergency manager Darnell Earley.

Democracy Now‘s Kate Levy spoke with a student named Wisdom Morales, who sadly told her:

“I’ve gotten used to seeing rats everywhere. I’ve gotten used to seeing the dead bugs. I’ve tried to ignore all the graffiti when I’m trying to use the bathroom. But any way it goes, still, I’m still bothered by these things. And it makes me feel sick, and it doesn’t [feel] good. […] I want to be able to go to school and not have to worry about being bitten by mice, being knocked out by the gases, being cold in the rooms. “

Detroit Public Schools parent Alise Anaya added that the school her children attend is surely infested with rats and mold:

“it’s an old building. It’s falling apart. We were trying to move—they were trying—there was a movement to move the building a couple years ago. It didn’t work. They’re still there. I’m sure there’s rats and mold, you can smell when you open the door. And it’s just not a good environment for the kids to be in all day.”

Tawana Simpson, a school board member, explained that the Republicans’ hostile takeover of Detroit, and appointment of an “emergency manager,” is what caused this crisis.

“Emergency management has created public safety and health crises in our school district here in Detroit. Irreparable harm has been done to our students, as well as our teachers and our parents and our community as a whole. We’re not able to help because of a law, PA 436, in Michigan, which allows the governor to assume all the authority of the elected officials.”

Yes, Detroit’s had financial problems, as has Flint. But it’s cruel and shortsighted for Gov. Rick Snyder and GOP lawmakers to punish teachers and students of Detroit Public Schools (and Flint’s children, for that matter) by forcing draconian budget cuts instead of promoting economic development.

Watch: Student from Detroit Public Schools says he wants to go to school without worrying about mice, rats, and dead bugs.

The Detroit Public Schools crisis in 10 terrifying photos.

Here are just 10 of a multitude of photos collected from teachers on the terrifying conditions that prevail in the Detroit Public Schools system, via Twitter.

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1. Many of the toilets and plumbing in the Detroit Public Schools system don’t work.

2. Moldy bread served for breakfast, and mushrooms growing on a classroom wall.

3. teachers and children in Detroit Public Schools are expected to function in classrooms like these.

4. A dilapidated Detroit Public Schools gymnasium.

5. Corroded pipes.

6. Detroit Public Schools are infested with feces from rats or mice.

7. A toilet leaking into a Detroit Public Schools preschool classroom.

8. Bullet hole in a Detroit Public Schools classroom.

9. A whole lot of WTF?

10. In a Detroit Public Schools computer lab.

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.
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Elisabeth Parker is a writer, web designer, mom, political junkie, and dilettante.