Classrooms without heat, floors damaged by flooding and a faucet that wouldn’t turn off for days — maintenance issues are reportedly plaguing schools in Hayward.
A student trustee, parents and several teachers shared these concerns with the Hayward Unified School District Board of Education at its Nov. 9 meeting, seeking answers for some issues that have been plaguing the district for years, like flooding and a lack of heat, and other issues that are more recent, like a solar-powered faucet that Tennyson High School math teacher Jesse Gunn said no one could get to shut off.
“It ran for days and days and days before we could get somebody out there to do it,” Gunn said. “A science teacher at Tennyson calculated there was over 10,000 gallons of water that was wasted.”
It broke again two weeks after it was fixed, and though it was fixed more quickly the second time, Gunn asked if the district was prepared to handle the failure of those faucets, which could easily lead to flooding akin to what happened at Hayward High School, in the future.
Flooding inside the weight room at Hayward High School left soft spots in the floor that pose a safety risk to students, teachers said, and Jaylen Delong, student trustee from Brenkwitz High School, shared how the broiler at Brenkwitz “has been out of commission for quite some time,” leaving students and teachers without proper heating in their classrooms at a time when the weather is only getting colder.
“We have been using heaters in our classes to keep warm,” Delong said, “but not all of the classes have them.”
Charles Jones, social studies department chair at Tennyson High, said having the heat go out every winter is “pushing people to the brink,” along with overcrowding and drippy ceilings.
“Our new roof at Tennyson is already leaking in six places after the first storm,” Jones said.
Parent Araceli Orozco said the board needs to use its power to make sure these maintenance issues get addressed and give the superintendent clear directions on how to do that.
“We’re in November now, it’s going to get even colder,” Orozco said. “How do you expect our kids to learn when they’re very cold, and our teachers, also, to teach.”