BASTROP, La. (KNOE) - Charles Bradford says Wednesday night's open house at Morehouse Junior High School revealed a lot about the school.
Courtesy: Charles Bradford
"Floor tiles torn up, no tissue paper, ceiling tiles out, just a lot of unsanitary things going on there," Bradford said.
He says that's what he saw, and now that school's back in session he says students, including his seven grandchildren, are seeing them too.
"Why do my kids have to be put in this condition," he asked.
Bradford took pictures during the open house, and put them on Facebook for other parents to see.
"[It's] unsafe, dangerous, dirty, filthy," Bradford said. "It's beyond dirty. It's filthy."
KNOE saw them too. So, Thursday afternoon we reached out to the Morehouse Parish Superintendent and toured the school to get a firsthand look.
We saw some problems - old, broken ceiling tiles, dirt around the air vents and cracks along the floor. The school's principal says they're all problems that come with an old building and problems that will eventually be fixed.
"We are at an older school, so there are going to be some things that are not up to par," Co-Principal Wendy Coleman said. "We all have that kitchen cabinet that doesn't open all the way, but we make do and we're going to try and transition. We don't leave it like that. We're going to get to it."
Making things even harder is a lack of funding that's forced the district to prioritize.
"Our main focus is providing a positive learning environment for the students and we want to focus on student achievement and student outcomes here," Principal Marilyn Taylor said.
And when you walk the halls, you can see the hard work. The classrooms and hallways looked ready for opening day, with fresh paint and bright colors, something Taylor says is a testament to the teachers.
"They spent a lot of time away from their families during the Christmas break to prepare their classrooms," Taylor said. "A lot of them literally moved items themselves, their personal items. They painted. So, a lot of work was done."
Coleman says they have a lot more to do, too.
"We're constantly building and trying to improve the conditions that are here," Coleman said.
The school building is close to one hundred years old.
Mr. Bradford is also suing the Morehouse Parish School Board over the school closures.