See A Deteriorating School Exposed For Sewage Leaks And More

At one high school, students expose the deplorable conditions to which they attend school, as raw sewage is just one of the many issues.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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students expose

Raw sewage, moldy walls, crumbling ceilings, and deplorable bathroom conditions. These are words you wouldn’t think to be synonymous with schools in America, but unfortunately, it is true for students that attend school inside Druid Hills High School, located in the suburbs east of Atlanta, Georgia. The story is egregious, but the worst part might just be the fact that it took a documentary in which students expose the deteriorating conditions of the school building to rile up talk of initiatives to get something done about it.

You can see the wretched conditions of the school in the 8-minute documentary below.

In the student-made 8-minute documentary, a group of students not only showcased their brilliant videography skills, but they tugged at the heartstrings of America showcasing the atrocious conditions in which some students in the U.S. attend schools. Raw sewage, or human waste, was one of the notable mentions in the documentary. Students expose the unlivable conditions, as one student is seen standing on top of a sewage grate situated in the middle of Druid Hill’s outdoor picnic area for lunch. The student said that as people dine outside on the tables, the sewage often overflows into the area from the ground. The school has the same issue in the weight room, where water oozes up from the floors.

Much of the school looks like a construction area, but obviously, one that is going unfinished. Students expose where water is shown dripping around electric outlets, and one student points to a sign. The sign is a warning for students not to touch poles or any wiring, at risk of being electrocuted. The documentary also takes viewers into the grotesque student bathrooms, where conditions are worse. Many stalls in both the girls’ and boys’ restrooms are missing doors to stalls entirely or don’t have locks on them. 

The Druid High students exposed the crumbling, moldy walls as well. One student demonstrates how one hole in a ceiling is so large that he can put his entire hand through it. The video often points to the school’s “quick fix” to water leaks and crumbling walls, with placed trash bins to collect the debris and water. Another student states how they avoid walking inside the hallways at all costs, as it reeks of mold.

students expose

Since posting the video to Youtube just one week ago on April 11th, the video has gone viral with nearly 40 thousand views. Drawing the attention of many news outlets, the Associated Press reached out to one of the students that exposed Druid Hill’s high school conditions. Sophomore student Harley Martz, talked about the concept to make the short documentary, and what the students hope to achieve. “You can tell someone about the conditions but when you visually see it, it’s a lot more impactful. Some of the things we pointed out in the video are very undeniable.” Martz also spoke about the recognition she and the other students responsible for making the video were given by fellow classmates for exposing the school. “I walked into my first period and my fellow students were applauding,” she said. 

It seems that the deteriorating conditions of Druid Hills are nothing new. And the outrage over the state of the building escalated in February when the DeKalb County School board removed the high school from a list of schools in need of priority renovation. Beginning to achieve a purpose that led the students to expose the school in the first place, the school board recently announced that they will consider a resolution to “modernize” Druid Hills, according to an upcoming meeting agenda. 

There are plenty of other schools across the nation where students expose to the deplorable state of school buildings. Many states are even looking to use COVID relief funds to revamp and update buildings. But overall, it is a problem that needs further attention.  According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) the majority of all school buildings in America were built between 1950 and 1969, but nearly 30% of all schools were built before 1950.