As arctic winds chill the East Coast and something meteorologists are calling a “bomb cyclone” threatens Baltimore with even more treacherous winter weather, students are shivering in public schools with broken or insufficient heating. Despite single-digit temperatures and accounts of students huddling at their desks in cocoons of coats and multiple blankets, only a handful of city schools were closed today.
Nearly eight hours ago now, the Baltimore Teachers Union urged the city to close all schools until officials could “get a handle on heating problems”, according to the Sun. That was 1:30PM. Since then, no reply from the city has been reported, and as of this writing, schools are slated to be opened tomorrow morning.
Our campaign has been in touch with contacts at Baltimore City Public Schools, who have informed us that maintenance crews are working to repair deficient heating in school buildings. We applaud that effort. However, there is no need for teachers and students to suffer and risk illness or injury in freezing classrooms; it’s doubtful that any learning could occur under such conditions anyway.
It’s now time for the city to listen to the pleas of the Baltimore Teachers Union and close all schools until adequate heat has been restored to all schools citywide. We stand firmly behind teachers who not only work to educate the children of this city, but who stand up for their health and safety as well.