Retired Baltimore City teacher: We are losing a whole generation of kids
BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- A retired Baltimore City teacher can no longer stay quiet. She recently reached out to Project Baltimore, FOX45’s long-term investigation into Baltimore area schools. Christine Bryant told us about the constant change and chaos she witnessed inside Baltimore City schools, and the impact it has on the students.
"What I see is that we are fixing one thing, and putting Band-Aids on things,” says Bryant. “Whereas, we are not looking at the whole foundation of the problem."
In January, Bryant retired as a STEM teacher at Garrett Heights. In her nearly two decades in Baltimore City Schools, she saw a seemingly endless string of budget deficits. She saw little stability with five School CEOs in the last three-and-a-half years. She saw students without paper or pencils. She saw classrooms that had mice and roof leaks but didn’t have hot water, heat or enough desks. And above all, she saw the devastating impact it all had.
"That has a major effect on the students too, psychologically. Just like when they walk through neighborhoods with the houses burnt down. That's the way it is in the classroom,” Bryant says.
Camika Royal, an Assistant Professor of Urban Education at Loyola University, spent three years teaching in Baltimore City. She told FOX45 constant turmoil has a deeper impact. But she also believes Baltimore City children have grown resilient, partly because they have to be.
“It is tremendously unsettling and jarring to your life,” Royal says.
She also sympathizes with the teachers.
“It’s hard to keep plugging away and to teach to a high standard when you know you may not have your job in just a few more weeks,” Royal says.
But Bryant says the stakes are too high, “we are losing a whole generation of kids in this city. A whole generation.”
Bryant also says that generation of students has too much to lose.
"Even though you see all this with the schools, don't quit. There's a long rough life out there if you do quit. Education will get you through.”