Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Students make videos to prove their high school is in need of repair

Woodstock, Ga. ( Associated Press) — The short documentary video opens with a high school student describing how human waste flows through the ground and floods the area where he and his friends eat lunch.

in eight minute video With background music and captions of key quotes, students at Druid Hills High School use iPhones to document the classrooms, hallways and bathrooms that are crumbling around them.

In several scenes, plaster is falling from walls, and water is dripping around electrical outlets in one area. So much water has leaked into the weight room that it seeps through the floor when a student steps on it. Another student demonstrates how a hole in the ceiling is big enough to put his whole hand in it.

“You can tell someone about the terms, but when you look at it visually, it’s a lot more impressive,” Harley Martz, one of the students who made the video, told the Associated Press in an interview. “Some of the things that we mentioned in the video are very undeniable.”

“As you go through school now, you can smell the mold and it’s really bad,” Montrice Berry, a junior student at Druid Hills, says in the video. “So I go for a walk outside so I can avoid the smell.”

Now, after the video surfaced, “Every time I walk down the hall, people are like ‘I’m so proud to speak to you,'” Berry said in an interview.

The video, which has garnered more than 27,000 views since being posted to YouTube this month, has sparked outrage among some parents in a suburb east of Atlanta who want to make repairs. It was produced after Druid Hills was removed from the list of schools in need of priority renewal by the DeKalb County School Board in February.

The video garnered praise from other students.

“I went into my first period and my fellow students were appreciative,” Martz said.

It’s the latest effort by students, parents and teachers across the country to show people what the situation is in their schools – and what they say is desperately needed.

In Virginia, journalism students documented situations at Maura High School and showed videos on the YouTube channel they use to broadcast school news. Administrators ordered them to remove the video From YouTube channel in 2019.

In Louisiana that same year, a video by residents highlighted problems at Block High School in Jonesville, about 90 miles (about 145 kilometers) northwest of Baton Rouge. In Duvall County, Florida, the county made a similar video in 2019 to persuade voters to approve a sales tax measure that would pay for repairs.

In Georgia, the DeKalb County School Board will consider a proposal “to modernize Druid Hills High School” according to the agenda of the meeting. The school has been in operation since the 1920s and according to historical accounts of the school district is one of the oldest in Georgia., The film crew used it as a backdrop for several scenes in the 2000 film “Remember the Titans”.

No details are included on the agenda for Monday’s meeting, so it is unclear what the board will discuss or ultimately do.

Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris said in a letter to community members on April 13 that the video “showed several areas of concern throughout the building that we have known about for a long time and are working to address in meaningful ways.” are.” The district also shared with the media.

“As always, we are grateful for these students’ advocacy for themselves and for future generations of learners,” she wrote.

The school district and board are “fully committed to ensuring that all scholars are in a positive learning environment,” he wrote, adding that he expects the board’s next steps “to proceed with renovations to the school, including meeting urgent needs.” will rise”.

But students are waiting for concrete steps to be taken to improve their school.

“So far I feel like they’re just talking,” Berry said. “I don’t really see any change so far. No one has really done anything.”

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