LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The debate over a controversial plan to provide iPads to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) students has taken a new twist on social media.
A Facebook page titled “Repairs Not Ipads” reportedly created by an unidentified LAUSD employee has gone viral with photos of crumbling school infrastructure and unsanitary classroom conditions, including photos of alleged rat droppings on a student’s desk and cockroaches crawling on both a school floor and an apparent classroom sink.
“Maybe if students are staring at iPads they will be able to forget about the cockroaches.” read one caption to a photo posted on Dec. 18.
A description on the group’s “About” page invites visitors to post photos and information about overdue repairs “that are being neglected at your school while Deasy spends billions of construction dollars on iPads.”
The locations of the campuses where the photos were allegedly taken were not immediately identified, but one caption above a photo showing ants streaming across a drinking fountain read “Evans CAS”, an apparent reference to Evans Community Adult School located at 717 N Figueroa Street.
The Facebook page also featured a statement attributed to one unidentified teacher that read: “What is the cost in terms of neglected school repairs of spending the bond money on ipads (sic)? For example, many schools need to replace lead-contaminated pipes in drinking fountains with safe copper pipes. How many schools will not get those pipes replaced because the repair money is being misappropriated for ipads (sic) instead?”
LAUSD officials have faced criticism over a $150 million plan to purchase about 100,000 iPads using bond money approved by voters under Measure Q in 2008.
Southland Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills) has called for an investigation into the purchase of the iPads.