Amongst the pens, pencils and paper, if there’s one thing that can be found in every school in America, it’s germs. This is becoming especially apparent in Chicago’s Public School system (CPS), which is under fire for being very, very dirty. “It’s a germ factory,” said Michael Flynn, who has taught sixth grade at Otis Elementary in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood since 1977. “And it’s as bad now as it’s ever been in terms of kids not getting what they need.” According to Flynn, some nights the floors will remain untouched and heaps of trash will be left in classrooms. Teachers from other Chicago schools complain that schools are running low on toilet paper, roaches have been spotted in student locker rooms and some schools even report not having any hand soap in the bathrooms. To deal with budget cuts, the CPS recently brought in a new custodial managerial system, Aramark, which has also come under fire by CPS representatives. Earlier this year, Aramark was criticized when a WBEZ reporter, inquiring about the ingredients of cafeteria chicken nuggets, was told the lone ingredient was “chicken nuggets.” Only time will tell what steps CPS will take to ‘clean-up’ this latest problem.
Contributor: Phoebe Roe