Abandoned books, toys, files

The Sweet Juniper blogger is taking abandoned books and toys from a closed elementary school in Detroit.

I only took picture books that my four-year old would enjoy; there are still hundreds — maybe thousands — of books on the shelves of the library.
. . . I have located a non-profit community organization that would love and appreciate some of the items inside, particularly the high-quality Community Playthings wooden kitchen sets (stoves, sinks, refrigerators, washer/dryers), art supplies, books, furniture and computers. I hope to organize an effort to recover some of these items before they get ruined or scrapped.

The blogger also destroyed students’ psychological records and Individual Education Plans, which were left in the school with “social security numbers, addresses, and parent information.”

E-mails to the school’s former principal went unanswered, as did voicemails to the district’s legal department.

It turns out a daily newspaper reported abandoned records like these within many of the 33 schools closed in 2007 and the district did nothing. No one is responsible. Someone else was supposed to destroy them. The company that had been paid to secure the school never did its job.

Update: Instapundit links to a Time photo essay on Detroit’s Beautiful, Horrible Decline.

About Joanne


  1. Well all that’s in the past. The DPS has a brand, new superintendent who’ll deal forthrightly with all the district’s problems.

    Yes indeedy, no more large-scale pilferage of school supplies. No more employees simply not showing up for work for months while still drawing a paycheck. No more principals appealing to parents for light bulbs and toilet paper. No more huge budget overruns that put the fiscal viability of the district in doubt. No more billion and a half dollar bond proceeds sitting around for several years while the district formulates a plan to use the money to patch up school roof’s that are falling in and replace plumbing that dumps raw sewage into hallways.

    It’s just a brand, new world at the DPS!

  2. Dick Eagleson says:

    Will the last one out of Detroit please turn out the lights.

  3. “She” is actually a he, just ftr! (The blog title refers to the daughter, not the author.)

    Click on the Detroit link in the left-hand column to see other abandoned buildings. It’s fascinating in a horrifying sort of way.

  4. Has he checked the books and toys for lead? As our politicians have decided that toys and books from the ’80s and earlier are too hazardous to possess.

  5. Margo/Mom says:

    It does seem as though some entity like the Detroit Free Press might have an interest in the abandonment of psych records and IEPs (although it would appear that they have already made one foray into the subject). If there is in fact a new supt (or a school board election looming) someone may be cognizant of public opinion, even if they are not cowed by the possibility of lawsuit.