By Njera Perkins
Baltimore City once again makes national news and not for good reason.
This winter’s harsh weather and extremely low temperatures has been hard on everyone and having heat seems to just be a luxury – unfortunately a luxury not everyone can enjoy. Baltimore City School students returned to school this week following their winter break, but not without being greeted with frigid, unheated classrooms. Under these conditions, a third of the city’s schools have been affected; complaints of heat issues has caused four to close down and three others to dismiss early.
Teachers were outraged with the conditions in which students had to endure learning in and took to social media to express their outrage. One teacher in particular, Former NFL player Aaron Maybin, had a viral video circulate the internet two days ago where he was forced to teach his students how to keep themselves warm in their freezing cold classroom by rubbing their hands together.
Hey Twitter this is my bro Aaron Maybin who is a educator here in Baltimore! Currently his classroom has no heat and have electric issues. This is not the only case there a plenty of classrooms just the same pic.twitter.com/KFT3Dx6pG0
— Dj Flow (@ITSDJFLOW) January 3, 2018
I’m not sure why the city of Baltimore is allowing this or why this is happening i just know i want to help! I will be collecting space heaters, children coats, blankets & generators! If you’re in the area and can help let me know pic.twitter.com/buLHIRNU9s
— FLOW WEEKEND FEB 9-11 (@ITSDJFLOW) January 3, 2018
When I first saw the video, I was utterly disappointed in the public school system, but I wasn’t at all surprised. As a Baltimore native, I’ve witnessed the unfair conditions that students have had to endure over the years and although it’s been a long time coming, I’m glad that people are finally paying attention and taking initiative to help in any way they can.
Seeing these young children being forced to sit in classrooms with no heat, bundled up in coats, gloves and hats is absolutely heartbreaking. Marietta English, president of the union, said it best; “Trying to provide a stable learning environment in these extreme conditions is unfair and inhumane, to say the least.” It’s unfortunate that students have to be kept out of schools, but I’d much rather they be able to learn in a comfortable and heated environment during this season.
People have been fighting with the Baltimore City School system for years now and finally people are getting these kids the help and rightful treatment they deserve. A GoFundMe page was started up by Maybin and his team to raise money and help bring heat to these schools, and since then they’ve exceeded their goal of $20,000 by nearly triple the amount.
I am proud of my friend @AaronMMaybin, an art activist who has been teaching our babies in #Baltimore. He and his team put together a GoFundme page to bring heat to the school. No child should have to go to school w/o heat or food. Get involved: https://t.co/qegSuADxri pic.twitter.com/IoXD9Ypw0J
— Idalin Bobé 🇵🇷🇨🇺👩🏽💻 (@IdalinBobe) January 5, 2018
If you’d like to help out in anyway, please continue to donate coats, hats, gloves, scarves, socks, heaters, and more to these deprived schools and donate money to the GoFundMe page. Also continue to spread awareness and keep this conversation alive, we can’t stop until change occurs!