Druid Hills High School conditions: Superintendent responds to student video

Metro Atlanta students say the "poor condition" of their school is affecting their ability to learn.

Druid Hills High School students say problems like mold, plumbing, electrical issues and water damage have plagued their campus for quite some time.

FOX 5 Atlanta spoke with several students who said they’re not out here to bash administrators or the school. They just want their health, safety, and learning environment to be a priority for district leaders, and now they're now calling them to task.

"These signs right here say do not touch the poles or the outlets, right, because we are at risk of electrical shock," senior Townes Purdy can be heard saying.


Seven frustrated students just put together this eight-minute video, detailing what they say are years worth of problems.

"Human waste tends to flow up from up it and flood this area right here which is known as our senior picnic area, and we eat outside here every day," Purdy said on the video. 

While the exterior is beautiful, the students said behind these brick walls neglect seeps through every inch of this campus.

"Electrical issues, mold issues, water damage. We're really just trying to put that into the light," Purdy detailed. 

DHHS is located on Haygood Drive near Emory University.

"I don't feel this is safe or healthy for us," 11th grader Montrice Berry said. "We need help, and we need more people to speak for us." 

The school touts itself as one of the oldest within the DeKalb County School District and has been right here since 1928.

Back in February ,parents and students say board members removed DHHS from a list of schools to become eligible for renovation and modernization projects.

"It makes us feel small and unwanted and ignored and overlooked," Jack Cole, a 10th grader, described.

In a statement, the district said they "remain committed to ensuring that all our scholars are in positive learning environments."

Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris said the video "showed many areas of concerned throughout the building that we have a long known about and have been working to address in meaningful ways."

"Some of the problems within the school building are systemic that it doesn't make sense to bring someone out to fix the plumbing when it's not fixable from the surface," Lani Martz, whose daughter attends the school, said.

11th grade student Darion Frazier went on to say that "we just want future generations here at druid hills and us to be treated like we should be because we are students of DeKalb County and value our education." 

This group of students demands the board put them back on that list and make renovating the school they love a priority immediately.

"I'm scared to touch the sink because that thing is gonna fall off," a student could be heard on the video saying. 

The district said a proposal to renovate the school is on the board agenda for April 18.