Cold water the color of Earl Grey streamed through the ceiling of Virgil Mason’s 10th-grade English classroom. The teacher was apparently used to it: She caught the water in a garbage can and kept teaching.
Mason shared the story of what he calls the “great tea fall” at a Student Story Slam hosted this summer by Chalkbeat and 482Forward.
Here’s a chance to share yours. As the district seeks help to make badly needed repairs to its facilities, Chalkbeat would like to hear from you. How are conditions in your school building affecting students and teachers?
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Mason, now a student at the University of Michigan in Dearborn, said he doesn’t want any Detroit student “thinking that’s normal — debris, losing you books… mold.”
Yet school facilities problems are all too common across Detroit. District and charter schools operate in buildings that are often decades old and badly in need of repair. The bill for the district alone is projected at more than $500 million, an amount that is growing rapidly.
The district is developing a plan to cut costs and more efficiently use its school buildings, but it doesn’t have the money to make all the necessary repairs.
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