DeKalb County

Raw sewage, rats and mold: Students at another DeKalb high school claim poor conditions

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Students at another DeKalb County high school have made a video showcasing what they claim are issues with sewage leaks, mold, bugs and rats.

Inspired by a similar video made by students at Druid Hills High School earlier this month, students at Lakeside High School decided they needed to do the same thing to get the school district to make some badly needed repairs and renovations to the campus.

“We are not the first school to experience something like this,” one student said. “We just want to say something about it.”

Lakeside students took to YouTube to show the decaying, unsanitary conditions in part of the school.

“The locker rooms are flooded with sewage from the toilets, and it smells really bad,” one student says, panning the locker room.

Another student shows off a spot where students say they found a dead rat.

“This is a bottom-floor classroom, so when it rains, it floods the entire room,” another student says, showing off what appears to be a band classroom. “There’s, like, floor damage. There’s roaches coming out of the cracks.”

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Channel 2′s Tom Regan was at Lakeside on Tuesday, where he talked to the student who produced the video, Jediah Garbutt.


Garbutt said the school system is doing cheap, Band-Aid-like repairs on major systems and infrastructure that need major renovations instead.

“Do you think this is putting your health at risk?” Regan asked Garbutt.

“My heath and education at risk,” Garbutt said. “Because I want to sit and learn, not sit in a flooded room.”

The school board has not announced a plan to modernize Lakeside or Druid Hills High School, where the original video sparked outcry from parents and students. A school board fight over the video eventually lead to the firing of DeKalb County’s superintendent, Cheryl Watson-Harris.

The district does plan to modernize some other schools like Cross Keys High School.

Garbutt said that Lakeside students are far from alone when it comes to dealing with poor school conditions.

“Other schools in the county are probably going through the same thing, but just not being seen or heard yet.”

A school spokesperson said they’ve identified more than $10 million worth of priority renovation projects at Lakeside, but there’s no timeframe for when those projects may be completed.

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