State School Superintendent Richard Woods has ordered the DeKalb County School Board to take immediate action to make repairs at Druid Hills High School after a viral video showed water damage, mold, and other hazardous conditions.
According to a report at Decaturish, Woods sent a scathing letter to the school board on Monday indicating that the district would be cut off from state funding if repair issues were not addressed.
“I will not recommend DeKalb County Schools’ facilities plan for State Board of Education approval while these fundamental issues and concerns remain,” Woods wrote in the letter. “DeKalb’s facilities plan will not move forward in its current form.”
The letter notes that a state DOE facilities team recently visited the school. While some problems were addressed, most of the fixes were for show, the letter says.
“While we were glad to see this response taking place, I question why these issues were only addressed after they were raised by students – rather than being identified and promptly addressed by the adults responsible for them,” Woods said. “Of even greater concern, most of these fixes were solely cosmetic, and it was clear not only that significant issues with the facility remain, but that regular maintenance has been largely neglected. This is unacceptable.”
Woods said the district has millions in unspent federal money to use for repairs.
“Let me be clear: each and every student in DeKalb County Schools has a right to functioning bathrooms; air-conditioned and heated classrooms; spaces free of mildew, mold, and flooding; and safe conditions to learn,” Woods said. “Each and every facility in DeKalb County Schools should meet that basic standard – at present, Druid Hills High School does not.”
The board had also previously voted in February to remove Druid Hills from its modernization and rebuilding plan, which led to students shooting the viral video showing water-damaged ceilings and walls, electrical hazards, and plumbing issues and no stall doors in some student bathrooms.