This post was written by Lakia Wilson, a guidance counselor at Spain Elementary School in Detroit.

She describes the horrifying physical conditions in the school, experienced daily by 500 students and the staff.

The predominant smell in the school is mold and mildew.

“The gym is closed because half of the floor is buckled and the other half suffered so much rainwater damage from the dripping ceiling that it became covered with toxic black mold. Instead of professionally addressing the problem, a black tarp simply was placed over the entire area like a Band-Aid. That area of the school has been condemned.

“The once beautiful pool sits empty because no one has come to fix it. The playground is off-limits because a geyser of searing hot steam explodes out of the ground. What do our kids do for exercise with no gym, playground or pool? They walk or run in the halls. Seriously. Our pre-K through eighth graders move like mall walkers.
Exposed wires hang from missing ceiling tiles. Watermarks from leaks abound. Kids either sit in freezing classrooms with their coats on or strip off layers because of stifling heat.”

Blame it on the kids? No. Blame it on the parents? No. Blame it on the teachers? No.

No, this falls into Governor Rick Snyder’s lap. Detroit is under state control.

Governor Snyder, tell your Emergency Manager to fix the schools so they are in tip-top shape. You will be judged by what you do–or fail to do–for the children.