Verlassene Krankenhäuser oder Psychiatrien sind vielleicht creepy und verrottende Themenparks skurril, was aber tatsächlich eine gesellschaftliche Aussage trifft, sind verlassene Schulen. Das Vice Magazine hat nun die vergammelnden und verrottenden verlassenen Schulen in Detroit besucht, unter diesem Bild steht: „A school computer lab with relatively modern hardware. Thieves have removed any precious metals from the CPUs and monitors, rendering them worthless.“
In the last half-century, Detroit lost more than half its population. Those leaving the city were mostly white people who fled to the suburbs. As a result, the tax base was destroyed and the black population that remains has had to govern a 139-square-mile city with limited resources.
With an aging infrastructure built for twice the existing population, the school district has to shut down and vacate school buildings every year. In 2007, the school board awarded a contract for securing, cleaning and removing supplies from closed schools to a Philadelphia-based company with ties to school board members. However, the work at many closed schools was simply never done. As with any buildings left unsecured in Detroit, thieves looking for metal immediately broke in to steal copper pipes and other valuables. These “scrappers” are like locusts. In 2008, I went into several schools closed the previous year to find buildings stripped of metal but left with libraries full of books, computer labs upturned, art classrooms full of supplies, and administration offices filled with confidential and sensitive student records.