Path cleared by Blight Patrol for returning students

Ex-felons work together to fight blight

(WMC-TV) – Frayser residents reported trees and trash blocked sidewalks, preventing students from getting to school safely.

A team of ex-felons, dubbed the Blight Patrol, had a mission to clean the area.

Westside Elementary Principal Kimberly Adams says many of her students travel a dangerous route in the streets to avoid broken glass and overgrown vegetation.

"You have to remember that it may be okay for our height but 5 year olds are just this big," Adams demonstrated.

"The mosquitoes and bugs are really bad. I've killed six snakes since I've been here in six weeks," said Frayser resident Sherry Daughtery.

She says paths are not only littered with rodents but her grandson recently mentioned one where he saw people smoking narcotics.

"Anything's possible and they could do it within a split second, harm any child or rape any child," said Daughtery.

On wheels, on foot, and by hand, the Blight Patrol went to work clearing paths, four vacant lots, and one house.

"We cut up here and found about 12 televisions and you don't think that's dangerous but think about all the glass that was left and sometimes that gets blown into the street," said DeAndre Brown, Blight Patrol.

Blight Patrol members are paid with a stipend organized by the mayor's office to help clean up the city.

"Neighborhood schools need to make sure that we band together as a neighborhood to make sure our children are safe," said Adams.

Principal Adams says she is excited to know that her students will have a clear path as they return back to the classroom this fall.

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