Behind all the immediate dangers of Hurricane Harvey come a horrifying multitude of disruptions, troubles, and logistical nightmares. For instance, more than a million public school students have been affected by the disaster, and many of them don’t have anywhere to go to school anymore.
ABC News reports that, according to the Texas Education Agency, there have been closures in 200 out of 1,200 school districts statewide. “Roughly 20 percent of our student population has been affected by Harvey,” said spokesperson Lauren Callahan.
In Houston, they can’t even say how bad the damage is because they can only get to 45 out of almost 300 schools. The Aransas County Independent School District was particularly blunt, announcing they were closed “indefinitely.”
The district serves 3,316 students, according to its website. A later statement from Superintendent Joseph Patek to clarify how long schools will be closed painted a stark picture of the area’s current conditions and road to recovery.
“We used this word because we are attempting to be as transparent as possible. We do not have a timeline for how long the recovery process will take,” Patek’s statement read. “We must first have drinkable water and power. After that, we must ensure our facilities are safe and then we will be able to allow teaching staff in the buildings to look at their needs for supplies.”
“Our schools will certainly be able to take any student that is displaced because of the storm, for however long,” said the TEA spokesperson, adding that, “Every district and charter in our state has a homeless liaison in the district in place already who can help get students enrolled.”