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‘Not Just Druid Hills’ – Lakeside High students make video drawing attention to health and safety issues

Decaturish updates

‘Not Just Druid Hills’ – Lakeside High students make video drawing attention to health and safety issues

Lakeside High's marching band. Photo provided to Decaturish

DeKalb County, GA — DeKalb County Schools is facing more questions after students at another high school produced a video highlighting numerous health and safety problems at their school.

Lakeside High on May 9 released a video titled “Not Just Druid Hills,” a reference to a student-created video depicting Druid Hills High’s issues after the school board removed the building from a list of renovation projects.

“DeKalb County has a problem with funding, and it’s pretty much shown throughout different schools … here at Lakeside, here is pretty much how ours looks,” the video begins.

Highlights of the video include water damage, locker rooms flooded with sewage from the toilets, a live rat discovered in the boys’ locker room, mold, dust, smells stained into the floor, sewage coming up from the drains in the girls’ locker room, an abundance of roaches, flooded classrooms with roaches crawling out of the cracks of the wall, a flooded electrical room, teachers having to administer their own chemicals to kill the roaches, rust leaking into the water of the school’s pool due to a busted boiler, and more.

Before learning about the latest video to depict unsafe conditions at a local school, Decaturish heard on May 9 that a sewage leak occurred at Lakeside. The district confirmed that, “One of the water fountains at Lakeside High School was not draining properly on Monday. A plumber was dispatched to investigate the issue and located a blockage in the line caused by sanitary wipes and feminine products. It was cleared, and all systems were restored to full service.”

Decaturish asked the district for a comment about the most recent video.

Spokesperson Donald Porter said the district is working to address issues at all schools, but it takes time and money. The school district has a $2 billion budget, and state Superintendent Richard Woods said in a letter about Druid Hills that the district has millions in unspent funds that could be used to fix schools.

“Over the last several years, the DeKalb County School District has taken a comprehensive approach to identifying and correcting facility and maintenance issues at all schools,” Porter said. “This effort remains a work in progress. Working with our Board members, administrators continue to address immediate needs while formulating short-mid-and long-term strategies for improving our facilities. To be sure, this labor-intensive work takes time and significant funding. Yet, progress is being made every day.  At its April 18 meeting, the Board voted to implement an aggressive facilities program to address serious building issues at all schools across the system. The District continues its work to present projects to include scope, timelines, budget, and funding sources.”

Porter added, “Regarding Lakeside High School, over $10.2 million in priority 1, 2, and 3 projects were identified in 2021. Today, those figures are higher because since these reports were published, construction and maintenance material prices have risen significantly, and the availability of skilled workers has shrunk while labor costs have climbed. The school’s complete report is found here.”

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