Students create a video to show that their high school is in dire need of repairs

A high school student explains how human waste rises from the ground and floods the area where he and friends eat lunch.

Students create a video to show that their high school is in dire need of repairs

The eight-minute video features background music and captions with key quotes. Students at Druid Hills High School use iPhones for documenting the hallways, classrooms and bathrooms around them.

Multiple scenes show plaster falling off walls and water dripping from one area of electrical outlets. The weight room has so much water that the floor is covered in it, students can see the water ooze from it. Another student shows how large one of the ceiling holes is that he can fit his whole hand through it.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Harley Martz, a sophomore, said that while you can talk to someone about the conditions, visualizing it is much more powerful." "Some of what we highlighted in the video are undeniable."

Montrice Berry, a Druid Hills junior student, said in the video, "As soon as you walk through this school now, the mold can be smelled and it's kinda really nasty." "So, I prefer to walk outside in order to avoid the mold smell."

Berry stated in an interview that after the video was released, "everytime I walk the halls, people are like, 'I'm so proud for you speaking up'".

This video has been viewed more than 27,000 times since it was uploaded to YouTube earlier this month. It has caused outrage among parents from the suburbs just east of Atlanta, who are demanding repairs. The video was made after Druid Hills was removed from the DeKalb County Schools Board's priority list of schools that needed renovations.

Other students were impressed by the video.

Martz stated, "I walked into my second period and my fellow student were applauding."

This is the latest initiative by parents, students, and teachers from across the country to show the public what their schools look like and argue for improvements.

Journalism students in Virginia documented the conditions at Maury High School. They then uploaded the video to the YouTube channel that they use for school news broadcasts. Administrators directed them to remove the video from their YouTube channel in 2019.

Residents in Louisiana also recorded a video in the same year to expose problems at Block High School Jonesville, which is located about 90 miles (about 140 kilometers) northwest Baton Rouge. The county of Duvall County in Florida produced a similar video to convince voters to approve a sales-tax measure to pay for repairs.

According to the agenda, the DeKalb County Schools Board will be considering a resolution to "modernize Druid Hills High school" in Georgia. According to historical accounts of the school district, the school has been in existence since the 1920s. It was used by film crews as a backdrop in several scenes of the 2000 movie "Remember the Titans."

There are no details in Monday's agenda, so it is unclear what the board will be discussing or doing.

The video revealed "many areas in concern throughout the building which we have long known and have been working towards in meaningful ways," Superintendent Cheryl Watson Harris stated in an April 13 letter to community members. She also shared the information with the media.

She wrote, "As always we are grateful to the advocacy of these students in their own interests and for future generations of learners."

She wrote that the school district and board "remain fully dedicated to ensuring all scholars are in positive learning environments," adding that the board expects to "move forward" with renovations at the school, which will include addressing immediate needs.

Students are eager to see concrete steps taken to improve their schools.

Berry stated that "so far I feel like people are just talking." "I don’t see any change." "No one has done anything."

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