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Union president calls for Baltimore city schools to close until heat issues addressed

Posted at 4:38 PM, Jan 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-03 17:18:40-05

Another day, another round of complaints from Baltimore parents about cold temperatures inside city schools’ classrooms. Now, the teachers’ union is demanding all schools be closed for the week until the problem is fixed.


“Maybe Baltimore City needs to do a better job at their maintenance. Maybe they need more help,” Bobby Harris said.


He was on his way to the dealership when he got a call from a neighbor asking for help with a pickup.


“I’m frustrated when I have to stop what I’m doing to pick up either my grandkids or someone else’s child,” Harris said.


RELATED: 'It's just too cold to learn anything' President of teachers union speaks out


He, like other parents, was caught off guard by an alert from Baltimore City Schools’ about an early dismissal from Cecil Elementary and Frederick Douglas High for a busted water main.


“He has a brother at home that’s at home that’s sick so I’m caring for his brother at home. I’m his grandmother. So I’m in a rush getting back home to him,” one grandmother said.


A rush that should’ve been prevented says Baltimore Teacher’s Union President Marietta English.


She says neither students nor teachers should’ve been in those classrooms with temperatures below freezing.


“Again, we had calls about the frigid weather and the temperatures in classrooms and it’s just unhealthy conditions in the schools,” English said.


In a letter sent to the school district, English points out teachers and students have been in classrooms ‘bundled up in coats, hats, and gloves’ because of several schools that have no heat.


An unconducive environment to learn in, she says, that isn’t fair to those in the classroom.


“That room is still cold. So we needed to find out which schools have healthy conditions of which we want our students to work in and our teachers to teach. It’s not healthy when they do that,” English said.


Governor Larry Hogan also spoke out about the unsafe conditions that students and teachers are enduring in the current cold conditions.


"Our administration has provided record funding for K-12 education every year since taking office, including an additional $23 million on top of formula funding for Baltimore City schools last year, and has also increased school construction funding for the City each year. While individual school facility decisions are ultimately made at the city level, the governor will continue to work closely with Baltimore City leadership to provide any possible support.”



To donate to Baltimore City Schools for heat in the classrooms CLICK HERE.