DeKalb to reconsider upgrades to Druid Hills High School after student-made video

After Druid Hills High students released a video showing conditions at the school, the DeKalb School Board said it would reconsider a plan to modernize the school.

Nick Nesmith / WABE

The DeKalb County school board will reconsider a plan to modernize Druid Hills High School Monday. The move comes after students posted a video showing water damage, mold and crumbling infrastructure.

The board had placed Druid Hills on a list of schools to receive repairs and upgrades, paid for with money raised through the Education Special Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST). In February, the board took Druid Hills off the list. Parents have been urging members to reconsider since then. Then students created a video detailing plumbing problems, broken fixtures, and moldy walls and ceilings.

The video caught the attention of state officials, who will visit the school Monday.

Some students say creating the video reminded them of how many repairs the school needs.

“Honestly, I kind of assumed that all high schools were a little bit gross,” says sophomore Harley Martz, who helped make the video. “I mean, I’ve never been to other schools in DeKalb County personally, like toured them, but I kind of assumed they were exactly like Druid Hills.”

Junior Montrice Berry had a similar reaction.

“I thought this was like a regular thing in DeKalb county,” she says. “But since so many people started reaching out to us and letting us know this isn’t good. I just realized we’re being treated wrong up here.”

The response to the video has shown both of them that’s not true. DeKalb Superintendent Cheryl Watson Harris sent a letter to parents that said renovation plans for Druid Hills have been in the works for several months. The board will consider a resolution Monday that includes upgrades for Druid Hills, Cross Keys High School, and some other schools.

Martz is glad the video got the board’s attention.

“The main goal was to have our… school be reconsidered and put back on the list to be renovated,” she says. “But in the future [we’d like] to have our building be re-updated.”

Berry hopes the board is moved enough to act.

“I just hope that they at least put us in good consideration and see that we really, really need help up here,” she says.