Oakman School trashed, documents strewn
By T. Kelly
The Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — Birth certificates, parent permission slips and other sensitive documents are among the papers strewn around the front door of the shuttered Oakman Orthopedic school on the city’s west side.
Aliya Moore, parent advocate, has two garbage bags full of documents she rescued from the front lawn of the school after it was closed at the end of school in July.
“I called (Emergency Manager) Jack Martin to tell him the school had been broken into and birth certificates and other papers were thrown all over,” Moore said. “He said they were supposed to be shredded, but they’re not. These are sensitive documents.”
According to Moore, the building was broken into five times. On Sept. 30, two workmen from Seal Tight were at work nailing back up plywood boards within reach and easy to pull off by any adult standing on the ground.
Moore said Mark Schrub of DPS told her to find a buyer for the school and “you’ll get a commission.”
“I don’t want a commission, I want the school open,” Moore said. She and other parents, concerned the physically and otherwise health impaired (POHI) children would not receive the quality of education they were getting at Oakman, battled for months to keep the specially equipped school open.
Parents are not happy with the transfer of Oakman students to Noble and Henderson, she said. When two second graders — one in a wheelchair, the other using a walker — arrived at Noble, the elevator was broken. Since they were unable to access to the second grade classroom, they were put in a first grade classroom. One of the parents took her child to Henderson, which is all one floor, Moore said, but the other evidently remains in first grade since the elevator remains broken.
While Noble school was painted over the summer, Moore said, there are many problems for POHI children that remain in violation of federal law. These include the lack of handrails, bathroom accessibility and faucet handles that require turning.
DPS spokesperson Steve Wasko told the Michigan Citizen student records were removed from the building immediately. “Other items identified as having private information were placed in locked bins to be shredded and numerous repeated break-ins to the school resulted in the locked bins being broken into, emptied, and, in fact, used to transport stolen goods,” he said. in an email.