Crumbling abandoned schools: Who's to blame?

(WXYZ) - Detroit Public Schools are facing pressure in the wake of action news investigations exposing awful conditions at their abandoned schools.

Now we're going a step further to hold the governor accountable for a district ultimately managed by the state.

For Lakissiua Reams, every day starts with facing a stark reality. The Detroit Public School district is one of the the biggest owners of blight in the Motor City.

"Squirrels are running ramped, so are rats, people are coming in the middle of the night and stealing whatever is left," says Reams.

We met Lakissiua two weeks ago when we exposed this state of disaster. We visited every school that's been closed in Detroit and found most have been hit by scrappers. On the west side alone, 30 buildings have been stripped.

Lakissiua had a message for the governor saying "for the safety of citizens, children especially do something about this because this is not the only school."

So we took Lakissiua's plea straight to Lansing and tracked down the governor.

He agreed to talk about this issue and acknowledged he's ultimately responsible since the district's emergency manager reports directly to him.

"Ultimately the man in charge is jack martin and he reports to you?" we asked." "Well we are trying to continue to work on improving Detroit and it starts with the kids" he answered.

We asked "what is your message to Detroiters who live across from these blighted buildings and feel it's hopeless?"

He answered "it's not hopeless, there's a lot of good blight removal going on in Detroit in the last year or two."

But what about specific plans to deal with schools too far gone to sell? Those that have to be torn down?

The district has already said their best option is to appeal to the city for demolition dollars and we've seen no evidence of that happening yet.

"We need to look at the buildings and facilities and see how we can get them in productive use. Detroit is turning around and we need to stay focused on that and grow Detroit together," said Snyder.

We showed our interview with the governor to people back at the neighborhood where Holcomb Elementary once thrived.

"I don't really think the governor is sincere, ok there's a lot of blight being cleaned up but what i wanted to see from that piece is when. I hate to say it but i don't think the governor has Detroit's at heart at this point," says Roderick Mcintosh who lives across from school.

We asked "what do you say to the governor after seeing this interview?" 

Mcintosh says "I would invite the governor to come down here and tour these schools and look at the neighborhoods."

Also not convinced, the pastor of a nearby church. He tells us this isn't just an eye sore, it's alarming.

Pastor Edward Nicholas says "it looks bad for the church to be over here and the building over there. They can take kids and rape them over there, and kill them over there. They can do anything so it's best for them to take it down."

Detroiters acknowledge times are tough but still families live in these neighborhoods.

Forced to deal with unnecessary danger caused by Detroit's school district dropping the ball. As Governor Snyder seeks re-election, Lakissua's hoping one more message reaches him.

"Be accountable, say something don't always make a promise and don't live up to it."

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