Community shows support for Re-2 | PostIndependent.com
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Community shows support for Re-2

John GardnerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox
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RIFLE – Strong communities show resilience in the face of adversity.The Garfield School District Re-2’s regular school board meeting on Tuesday night took place in the gymnasium at Wamsley Elementary in Rifle to discuss the issues that have seen much time in the local and state media involving the fight at RHS between two students in February.The meeting felt more like a community pep rally. The consensus: Rifle is still a strong community, and it supports the staff and administration of the Re-2 schools.People addressed each other by first names at the meeting. Nearly 300 parents, students, faculty and staff, community members and neighbors attended to praise the work that the school staff and administration does every day in developing the students into the community leaders of tomorrow.Rifle High School students showed up in great force to have their collective voice heard. What they had to say was a resounding “Go Bears.”Bear pride was evident with posters that read “Bear Hug” illustrated with a picture of a group of students engaged in a group hug. And another poster that read, “We don’t see in brown and white, we see in blue and gold,” to address the issue of racial tensions at the school.”Go Bears.” Not just the school’s motto, it’s the community’s, too.RHS junior Adriane Maloney started off the evening by reading a letter she had written to the school board, thanking them for their hard work.”Let’s put some blame on the outside world and not the school,” she said. RHS student body president Steve Samson said that if you could find a school without fights and racial issues, he’d congratulate you. “Every school has these issues,” he said. “But look around. We respect each other.”More students – Max Peterson, a junior at Coal Ridge; Amanda Quick, Graham Riddile and Matt Hubble, all of RHS; and others – approached the microphone, one by one, to tell the community that they appreciate the school staff and that they are proud of their schools. Bears or Titans.”It’s tough to hear from your community that your school is unsafe,” said senior Matt Hubble.As a safe school ambassador for four years at RHS, Hubble said that this program prepares students to make a difference and set a good example for the younger students. And that he’s proud to be a Bear.Samantha Blea, another senior at RHS, said that she felt fortunate that she attends a school without metal detectors at the entrances.Parents came to the meeting to show their support as well, and to show that they have to be part of the solution, too.”When two people show up to the meetings, what can the school board do,” asked Sam Walls. “We’ve got to give them something to work with. I am excited to see all the kids here.”A resilient community coming together when it matters most was the message sent, and heard, at Wamsley Elementary.”It’s unfortunate that it takes something like this to bring all these people out to a board meeting,” said school board president Jay Rickstrew. “I think that you saw from the students and staff that we took quick action. We still have work to do to address these issues, but we are working on them.”Contact John Gardner: 945-8515, ext. 16604jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO


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