Native American Kids’ Schools Are Crumbling And Unsafe. Congress Won’t Fix Them.

by | Jun 30, 2022 | Politics

Sometimes, in the middle of class, teachers at the To’Hajiilee Community School suddenly run out the door.They run to their cars. This K-12 school in TóHajiilee, New Mexico, was built in a flood plain, and when the walls of water inevitably come rushing down from the nearby canyon, teachers’ cars can get washed away if they don’t move them to higher ground quickly enough. At least one teacher has already lost a car, and school officials are used to hurrying children onto a bus to shuttle them to safety.AdvertisementThe floods have been a problem for decades, well before the high school was abruptly vacated in March. Its foundation was crumbling apart as the building sank into mud. Walls had visible cracks. Water poured through the roof when it rained. The U.S. government deemed the building unsafe and shut it down for major repairs. The high school students are all remote now, with teachers, somehow, teaching classes virtually that previously involved hands-on work in chemistry labs, in culinary arts classes and in woodworking.Virtual teaching only works if you can get online, though. Many of the kids in this community about 35 miles west of Albuquerque don’t have internet access. For that matter, they don’t have clean drinking water at home, either. To accommodate this, the school created a “learning hub” on site, which is just a room where students can come take virtual classes. A school counselor sits with them while they work on computers.Kids …

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