A plaintiff involved in the NAACP lawsuit for adequate funding of Baltimore schools gave the most profound statement on the importance of proper learning environments.

"Everyone wants to judge us, how they don't think we're the best students, how we're not up there in test scores and everything, but we can't have the best scores, we can't be the best students if we're not put in the proper environment," Deshawna Bryant, 18, said in an interview with The Real News Network

Bryant, a senior at City College High School, notes how students regularly have to leave if it's too cold or too hot to stay in the building and that teachers don't have enough material to teach students.

"It has a terrible impact on Baltimore City Public School students," she said, noting how the troubling conditions make it hard for students to be what everyone wants them to live up to be.

"We’ve had multiple times where the ceiling has fallen down, where there’s been holes in the walls, where it’s hard to get rid of the rats in the basement and everything, and it’s hard to heat and cool the building because of how large it is," she said.

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In March, the ACLU of Maryland and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund went to court in attempt to force Maryland to provide hundreds of millions more dollars for the Baltimore school system. They are hoping to reopen a case originally filed in 1994 in Bradford, when a judge ruled the state needed to start spending more money for city schools in Baltimore, where many students are living in poverty. 

"By the state’s own data, over 80 percent of the city’s schools are in poor or very poor condition," Ajmel Quereshi, Senior Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said in a press conference. "By the state’s own data, almost $300 million are not given to the city’s schools every single year. By the city’s data, there’s a shortfall of $3 billion to improve the facilities in the city’s schools."

Bryant says she suffers from sickle cell anemia, and that low temperatures can exacerbate the pain associated with her condition.

"If I’m too cold, then my body will shut down and I can go into a pain crisis," she told The Real News Network. "That sets up a bad environment for me, because it’ll send me into a pain crisis, and then I’ll have to go to the hospital."

The ACLU of Maryland and NAACP Legal Defense Fund held a town hall meeting on Tuesday to help gain support for their lawsuit.

Watch the full interview below:

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