Baltimore schools CO detectors a result of COO's swift action
It took two potentially dangerous incidents at Dickey Hill Elementary/Middle for city school officials to realize that their dilapidated buildings should have carbon monoxide detectors, even if they weren't obligated to provide them.
But it only took just as many hours for city schools COO Keith Scroggins to begin inquiring about how feasible it would be to get them not only in Dickey Hill, but in every school. As our coverage yesterday noted, the school system's 200-plus schools are due to get detectors within a month.
This is worth noting considering that what Scroggins set into motion with an email to city officials and a media briefing, other districts (like CT) are still waiting to obtain with legislation. Everyone from the Baltimore City Fire Department to the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management responded to make it happen.
The COO--who rarely ever shares the spotlight for the innumerable projects he has started to update, upgrade and rebuild the school system's aging infastructure--is one of the most deliberate and responsive top executives in the system, from what I've observed in covering his arena of the school system.
The first half of his tenure was spent reversing poor decisions of his predecessors that set back years of progress in updating city school facilities. The latter part has been marked with hard hats on construction sites, a pipeline of new initiatives, and advocating for every capital improvement dollar available.
I found in my reporting that as we pummeled Scroggins with questions about why CO detectors were absent in schools, he didn't attempt to deflect the questions--and in fact, it appears that he used it as an opportunity to pose those questions to his colleagues in the city and school system.
City officials credited Scroggins for setting things in motion on Tuesday. Baltimore city is now the only school district in the Baltimore-metro area to take precautionary measures against CO, a colorless, odorless killer that had sickened at least one student, but one too many.
I felt the need to point this out because every once in a while, there isn't a bad guy or a suspected cover-up.
This was one of those cases--and 83,000 Baltimore city schoolchildren are safer for it.