DALLAS – Students walked out of South Oak Cliff High School Monday because they’re sick of dealing with the conditions inside. Alexis Douglas ate lunch with her mom outside because she refuses to eat the food inside.
“It is terrible. We have no ceiling and a pipe busted last week and they didn’t tell us. Gas let out and they didn’t tell us anything and we could have died. There’`s wires hanging from the ceiling as well. And it’s been like this since last year. They haven’t done anything,” Douglas said.
The 63-year-old high school is getting a multi-million dollar renovation, including repairs and improvements to the plumbing, the gym, locker rooms, the auditorium, and the roof.
Pictures from students on Twitter and the from the Next Generation Action Network show the ceiling’s exposed with leaks, and it appears students are attending class in the hallway because it’s too hot.
Minister Dominique Alexander with the Next Generation Action Network says these students shouldn’t be learning in this environment. “Horrible conditions. I cannot believe the school is even open.”
“The first priority that you have to these kids are their health and their safety. And all year you have violated their health by exposing them to asbestos, gas leaks, (and) sewage. You have failed the first priority before you even get to education,” Alexander said.
Students, parents, and community leaders think there is only one remedy.
“There’s no fixing this school,” Douglas said.
“We want a new school building,” Alexander said.
Superintendent Michael Hinojosa was at South Oak Cliff Monday night and parents were eager to hear what he had to say.
“It doesn’t look good. I understand why people are upset. If things become unsafe, we will take immediate action to remove the students and move them somewhere else,” Hinojosa said. “I think it was a challenging but productive night. We’ll start solutions right away.”
For these kids and their parents, change can’t come soon enough.