Members of the Lie County Board of Education are angry with the condition of the portable classroom building

Wink news

Members of the Lie County Board of Education recently expressed concern that students are learning in dangerous situations.

Gwyn Gittens said the school district’s portable devices have been in use for over 15 years. She said photos outside the building bring her pain that students have to go to school under these conditions.

Gittens, already recorded by Governor Ron DeSantis, claims that the school district in Lie County is guilty of fraud, waste and abuse. She shares a photo with WINK News, showing the chipped concrete blocks that support a portable school building and the insulation hanging under the floor.

Gittens said photos and other photos need to worry about all parents. She said the condition of these buildings was unacceptable and became emotional when talking to WINK News.

“If someone goes up the slope, who says they’re not going to stumble and get hurt?” She asked.

“Looking at the legislation, portable seems to be temporary.”

That’s where Gittens and the school district disagree. In a statement, the school district introduced us to state law 1013.21. In layman’s terms, if there are 1,000 portable students under the age of 20, the district cannot build a new school for them.

Gittens introduced us to the same state law – 1013 – but simply put, Section 20 (1013.20) states that portables that do not meet safety standards should not be used as classrooms.

Gitten said, “I have grown it for two and a half years. And I was told to stay in your lane and stop asking questions. “

“By whom?” WINK News asked.

“Oh, everyone. Yes, wife.”

“Are the superintendents, districts, everyone telling you to stop asking questions?” WINK News asked.

“Yes wife.”

WINK News can’t see where the portable photos came from, Gittens doesn’t say. She wants all parents of portable students to wonder if she’s talking about them.

If her kids were learning with these portables, Gittens said:I attend your show every day. I need parents. That’s one of the main reasons I’m doing this. People need to see. “

Gittens doesn’t know which school the photo came from, so she said.please look. It’s happening in your district. “

The school district told WINK News that safety experts inspect all portables each year and prioritize them if there are problems or dangers.

Complete statement from GWYN GITTENS:

Through my eyes!

For the past 2.5 years, I have been discussing the topic of “Portable / Relocatable in Lie County School Systems”. How many, age, status, cost of leasing, cost to “maintain” what we own. There are seven of us on this board, but why was my tears the only one shed because of the negligence of “what’s best for a child?” The board ignores my facts and data, my constant request and “badges” … can they ignore the visuals? Am I the only one watching this? Why can’t I prioritize resources over time because I’m phased out the use of so many “temporary classrooms”?

As an elected member of the Lee County Board of Education, I have the right to go to all property owned by the district. I recently took some portable / relocatable pictures in the district. I take full responsibility for these photos, so I don’t have to blame or investigate employees. It doesn’t matter where these “classrooms” are. The problem is that they are in the Lie County school district.

I took these pictures with tears and rolling cheeks. I thought about students and staff walking down the slope without screws like trampolines, or how long before one of the rotten pieces of wood or broken concrete blocks would be. If you make a mistake, what if someone is allergic to the insulation hanging under the “classroom”?

“It’s state law that mobile phones must be stored for 20 years!” A district staff member told the general public last week. I conducted an investigation and also spoke with DOE, which is incorrect according to state law 1013.20. (See below)

(1 *) “Do not use relocatable items that do not meet the standards as a classroom.”

(2 *) “Relocatables need access to the same technology as the classrooms in the main building.” How many portable devices in Lie County are equipped with the latest technology, the Promethean board? Which school has a new board as of today?

(3 *) The relocatable item “will not be reported as a satisfactory student station if it does not meet the criteria”. The Ministry of Education needs an annual report (FISH) showing the total number of student stations (seats) in the district. The school district continues to count substandard structures as “student stations,” and the Ministry of Education has denied funding and permits to build the necessary schools.

(4 *) State law requires an “annual inspection” of relocatables. Tie down; structural integrity; weathering; HVAC; electricity; plumbing, if applicable; fire safety; and accessibility. Annual reports must be submitted to the district and posted in their respective relocation locations to facilitate corrective action. I have never seen these reports printed or posted.

I hope my fellow board members will share the depth of pain I feel when I see these situations. They told me in the past, “Please explain what you want, you keep asking the same question. If you don’t know, how can you help?” My answer, I tried to explain .. I asked for a special meeting to discuss. The entire “village” is needed to understand what is “best for all children” and to get together and act.

State Law 1013.20 (see Gittens)

State Law 1013.21 (see LCSD)

Complete answers from the district to Wink News questions

Note: School district answers are shown in italics.

WINK News Reporter Sydney Persing: Inquire about an interview with Gwyn Gittens this afternoon.

She shared a portable / relocatable photo of Lie County with me. She didn’t tell me at which school the photo was taken.

She told me that the photo shows a dangerous situation for students: rusty doors, loose screws on ramps, rotten wood, loose insulation, and loose straps for storm safety. It is inappropriate to comment on photos that neither WINK News nor District can see.

She told me that some portable devices have been in use for over 15 years and district officials have told me that state law requires that portable devices be stored for 20 years, but that’s not the case. Told. https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2018/1013.21

In layman’s terms, this means that if you have 1,000 students in a portable way under the age of 20, you can’t build a school for 1,000 students to move around. The law considers portable to be part of our capabilities and we cannot build a new school if we are performing under the law.

She also told me that state law requires annual inspections of relocatables and I have never seen those reports printed or posted.

The report is available to anyone requesting public records.

Can someone in the district (spokesperson or superintendent of education) take an interview to answer Mr. Gittens’s claim?

How many portables are there in the county and where are they? I have 148 portable devices that I own or rent. 6 in the west zone, 25 in the south zone, 117 in the east zone. Recognizing the discrepancy, remember that East Zone added 700 student stations to Lehi High School at the beginning of the 2019/2020 academic year. This year, Gateway High School opens with 450 new students, and the new campus has new students, second and third graders in August. The new Lehi Acres Middle School will open in August and the old campus will be refurbished in the coming years. It has signed a construction contract to build a new elementary school in Lehi and announced that it will partner with FGCU to build the K-8 on Treeline Avenue and open it in 2024.

Are they-and how many-are they inspected each year? Yes, they are all inspected annually as needed.

What is the current state of portable? Has a bad condition been found and dealt with? School districts are required annually by state requirements for educational facilities to inspect portable classrooms. Use safety professionals to identify hazards and prioritize repairs. The test report is approved by the school board and is available through the Boarddocs board agenda or by anyone requesting public records.

Statement from BETSY VAUGHN, Vice Chairman of the Board

I know that schools in the East Zone have far more portable classrooms than any other zone. East has long been a “stepchild”. The SDLC has an ongoing construction project in the East Zone, but my belief is that the district’s “catch-up” is inadequate.

I haven’t seen a picture of Mr. Gittens, but if the explanation is correct, how the district will work actively with Mr. Gittens to show that such a terrifyingly dangerous situation exists everywhere in the county. Clarify if you allowed it. I plan to visit not only that school, but other schools with portables.

I’m not sure about Mr. Gittens’ reference to “Board members,” but if she believes that we all lack concern about such an unacceptable situation, she Is wrong.

Statement from Mary Fisher, Board Members

We talked about portables at the board table and received details from the staff.

Members of this board and district staff are committed to the safety and continuous improvement of students and teachers.

Best regards,

Members of the Lie County Board of Education are angry with the condition of the portable classroom building

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