One teacher says the Facebook page shines a light on the poor conditions of the schools at a time when $1 billion is being spent on iPads
By Christina Cocca and Robert Kovacik, KNBC News | http://bit.ly/1eYlG3P
Thursday, Feb 6, 2014 | Updated 1:50 AM PST :: Los Angeles Unified School District workers have taken to social media to showcase their anger over crumbling buildings and insect infestations in school buildings, demanding the district focus on repairs rather than giving students iPads. Robert Kovacik reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014.
Rat droppings on desks, ants crawling in water fountains and holes in the floor: these are just some of the classroom conditions shown on a new Facebook page created by LAUSD teachers demanding the district repair schools before buying iPads.
The Facebook page, "Repairs Not iPads," was started by two Los Angeles Unified School District teachers who want other workers and taxpayers to see the conditions in schools at the same time the district continues to roll out its billion-dollar iPad initiative.
"Maybe if students are staring at iPads they will be able to forget about cockroaches," the caption of one photo reads.
Former Dorsey High School teacher Anna Iwason submitted a photo Wednesday night to the page, infuriated over the money not being spent on basic school building conditions.
Iwason's photo shows her special education classroom, where she taught last year, filled with an overflowing garbage can and trash on the floor.
"We all live it," she said. "The fact of the matter is, I had students with open tracheas and physical needs and the place was unsanitary. And that was the same year that we also ran out of toilet paper."
A photo of an out-of-service water fountain was taken at Franklin High School in Highland Park, but the other photos do not specify from which school they were taken.
"It should shine a light on the fact that they are ready to spend (a billion) dollars on iPads while we are asking students to try to learn and teachers to try to teach in conditions that are substandard, subhuman in a lot of ways."
David Tokofsky, a former LAUSD board member, told NBC4 the teachers are clearly demanding their need for the district to take care of the basics of school maintenance before thinking about giving students access to technology like iPads.
The page is described as "a place for teachers and the community to document neglected school repairs while construction bond (money) is diverted to purchase iPads." The name of the page administrator are not publicly listed.
LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy told NBC4 he would look at the page, but did not respond for comment about the photos by time of publication.
In September 2013, the district dealt with a massive glitch that allowed dozens of students to hack into school-issued iPads and use them for non-educational purposes off campus.