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Reaching Power Through Students’ Voices

Mayra Munoz

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The last couple weeks at Adams City High School have been stressful for students, staff, board members, and the superintendent. On April 25th students, with the support of their teachers, walked out of school and protested outside of the ESS building. This was due to the meeting that had been held in the ACHS auditorium the week before.

The meeting that started it all left everyone unsatisfied. Some question that were kept unanswered were regarding the principle, next year’s bell schedule, and the time that middle and elementary schools would begin after the change they decided on. Students with questions were told to hold on to them until the end once they went through their scripted questions. However, the superintendent refused to answer at the end as he consistently asked, “are we done?” Dedicated students were most obviously not done as their determination led them to plan out a walk out.

Many students attended the walk out that next Tuesday. They remained together as they fought for their voices to be heard. They demanded consistency but board members took a different approach when they shut the blinds. Students enraged and disappointed continued even once the weather got ominous and it began to rain. During this many of the same questions were asked: Why don’t we have a principle? How will we manage to get out of turn around? What made our last candidate unqualified? Even after students walked 2.8 miles, went out of their way, created a peaceful confrontation, and were shut down by many, they received the same answers as before. Saying that a kind of process was followed and that they need to change what they can in order for their decisions to be productive within the school. To say the least, nobody got what they wanted out from that.

The day after that Student Council had set a meeting to further discuss all the issues that were still in mind. During this the board members addressed concerns and explained they’d attempt to answer the third set of questions students had provided them with as honestly as they were allowed to. The board members, determined to receive the students respect and trust, informed them of how to view the history of their budget. They also spoke of not being able to go into detail about the reason for denying the principle due to a “process” that must be followed. The board members apologized if some answers weren’t completely answered how they had hoped for them to be. They explained in detail the program “Beyond Textbooks” and the reason for scheduling changes as well as the switch between elementary and middle schools. All these changes they’ve decided on have been in order to help us improve in all aspects of academics.

Meetings being held between the school board and staff and students in Adams County drove many to organize a protest. Fighting to be hear, for principles, and consistency led to one final meeting. As they addressed the problems and promised  solutions, the conflict has been put to an end, at least for now.

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