In a desperate attempt to highlight the terrible conditions of New Jersey schools, an exhibit of photographs was presented in front of the State House. The exhibit was titled “A Blind Eye: The Immorality of Inaction” and portrayed truly astonishing and appalling images of run down and dilapidated school buildings. Photographer Andrew Wilkinson captured two of the photographs, but anonymous sources submitted most of the photos—people who were most likely faculty or students and fed up with the deplorable state of their public place of education.
The New Jersey School Development Authority (SDA), a public agency that works directly under the governor, is collaborating with the State Department to prioritize repairs for these NJ schools, but several advocates feel the agency is not moving fast enough. The biggest argument for a speedy plan is forcing the state to remember people and children reside in these buildings week after week. The pictures feature several students and adults roaming the halls to serve as a reminder of who is suffering from the inaction of the SDA. One state senator, Barbara Buono, was so appalled by the condition of one building that she thought it should have been closed immediately after she left.
The SDA is also plagued by another allegation. The School Development Authority has been rebuilding a dozen of other NJ schools since 2010, but some people are arguing a failure to act on rebuilding the more urban schools—ones that often are in dire need of repairs. This portrays the negative message that urban schools simply don’t matter, and it is okay to allow students and faculty to continue inhabiting these hazardous environments.
There are 716 current repairs projects that have been submitted to the SDA for consideration. The SDA agreed to 68 of them.
The images truly speak for themselves. View the entire gallery here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/njea/sets/72157636799492285/
Cover Image: Shutterstock