No more Band-Aids

8/11/2017, 12:19 p.m.

George Mason Elementary School teacher Hope Talley was correct, unfortunately, when she said Richmond Public Schools officials are merely putting a Band-Aid on the situation at the aged Church Hill school.

The Richmond School Board voted this week to pay $105,000 to clean and make minor repairs, rather than close the building in which rodent droppings reportedly greet students at their desks each morning, restrooms leak and give off foul odors and a decrepit heating system fails to provide much warmth during winter months.

We hope the spruce-up, which includes giving the restrooms a deep cleaning and new coat of paint, will brighten the beginning of the school year for the 400-plus youngsters in kindergarten through fifth grade.

We understand that closing the school and moving students to another building this close to the Sept. 5 start may have been a major disruption. But could moving to a different school building be any more disruptive to learning than the putrid conditions students experience daily at George Mason?

We acquiesce to the expertise and authority of the School Board and RPS administration. But we remind schools officials that Band-Aids are no long-term solution for the chronic disorders plaguing RPS.

We, and others in the community, will be waiting to see a genuine, full-scale commitment to Richmond’s public schoolchildren by school officials, Richmond City Council and Mayor Levar M. Stoney.