School field trip finds Belle Isle playground covered in trash
DETROIT (WJBK) - Children on a class field trip to Belle Isle were met with a playground covered with trash.
"When we got there, you could smell it before you even arrive," says Shalayla Williams, special education teacher. "There was just trash. There was pizza boxes, plates, juice boxes, just all types of food items. The weeds, some of them, were taller than the children."
So, Williams picked up her phone and recorded video of the mess. She says plenty of people were around that could have cleaned it up -- but nobody was doing it. So, she confronted workers and their response left her stunned.
She said she saw guys who appeared to be groundskeepers in both powder blue shirts and yellow shirts.
"There was a young man who said he was the site manager for the students with the yellow shirts on; they were older teenagers. And so we asked them, 'Are you here to clean? Are you on break?' 'No, we just get paid to chill,'" is what Williams says they responded.
"And we said, 'Well what does that mean? What did you get hired for then?' They didn't want to respond. However they continued to sit on the playscape while our students were playing," Williams says.
The park is now run by the state of Michigan and the DNR. The teacher, from the Detroit Service Learning Academy, says she had no choice but to give the park an 'F.' The children were on their year-end field trip.
"Why should we allow our children from Detroit to believe that this is what they are to expect from a place where we tell them, keep it beautiful?" she asks.
You can see Williams' video of the grounds in the video player above.
UPDATE - Saturday, August 6:
The DNR has responded to the incident saying, "We have addressed the issue with our summer youth workers and treated this incident as a learning opportunity."
Since our story aired, the park has since been cleaned up.