DALLAS - Dozens of students walked out of South Oak Cliff High School Wednesday morning to protest conditions at the school.
Some of the students carried signs with phrases like “Don’t Underbudget Our Future!!!” and #$40M is not enough.”
Members of the Next Generation Action Network stood with them and talked about the lack of funding the school has received despite numerous structural issues.
The organization said the school is filled with lead pipes, hazardous asbestos, black mold and broken HVAC systems. Students have been forced to endure the extreme temperatures and remain in class even with known gas leaks.
“We know that this is absolutely unacceptable for our youth and for any youth in the care of the education system we spend tax dollars to fund. We demand equality in attention and budgets being allocated throughout the district to be mirrored in its southern sector. Our children deserve better! Our children deserve a nontoxic learning environment at the VERY least. This cannot be accomplished through lipstick on a pig fixes,” the Next Generation Action Network said in a press release.
In December several hundred students walked out to protest the same things. Dallas ISD responded and began work on the cooling and heating system, plumbing repairs and other improvements. But the students say those band-aid repairs are not good enough. They said they really need a new school.
"This school has been here since 1952. It's been renovated and patched up. So all they are going to do is the same thing they have been doing -- patching it. So why do we want another patch? That's why we want another school to fix everything at one time," said Darius Gadberry, a senior at South Oak Cliff.
After the last protest, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said under a bond program the school would get about $13 million for repairs. That amount was reportedly increased to $40 million recently, but members of the community still do not believe it is enough to fix all the problems.
The group wants the issue to be reconsidered at the next school board meeting.