After public schools in Baltimore City closed after several issues caused indoor classroom temperatures to fall to near freezing temperatures, former NFL player Aaron Maybin decided to take matters into his own hands.
The Baltimore City Public School system put out a public statement on Tuesday which attributed the frigid temperatures to problems within the older buildings.
"We have many schools with leaky windows and outdated heating systems that have a hard time keeping up," the statement read.
However, viral pictures from inside the school sent a more disturbing message than the public statement. In the images, students can be seen wearing winter coats, hats, and gloves which led to many teachers threatening to boycott.
22-year-old Samierra Jones, a senior at Coppin State, did not feel right just sitting back, so she started a GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $20,000 to bring heaters, coats, hats and gloves into the city’s schools.
Upon seeing the campaign, Maybin, who works at Matthew A. Henson Elementary through a program called Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center, shared the link and other videos to his Twitter, creating a viral reaction.
On Wednesday, BCPS closed six schools due to boiler problems, and the district’s CEO Sonja Santelises published a Facebook Live video where she addressed the "unprecedented" weeks of cold temperatures and uncomfortable conditions in the room.
"I think today we've had probably at least 60 buildings impacted by cold," Santelises said on Wednesday.
On Thursday morning, BCPS announced that all schools would be closed.
When teachers were unsure of when the schools would respond to complaints, many of them were forced to bring in their own space heaters, as students could see their own breath ,reported WJZ.
“Any good mother would take their children out of school,” Chastity Spears, a parent, told a reporter. “The water is cold! It’s unbearable. There’s icicles in the classroom. The cold water jug is frozen solid. It’s inhumane for these children.”
(Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
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