Re-1 urges parents to keep eye on kids during walkout
Roaring Fork School District Re-1 to parents: Know where your kids are on May 1. That’s the date when some Glenwood Springs High School students are planning to walk out of school and hold a “peaceful educational assembly” at Sayre Park to “educate” the community about immigration issues, according to an e-mail sent to local media outlets by GSHS juniors Giovanny Anaya and Fernando Enrique Weber. Weber said Wednesday the goal of the assembly is to give students and possibly speakers from Grand Junction and Denver a chance to talk about illegal immigrants having to pay out-of-state tuition to attend college in Colorado. Ultimately, it’s a chance for students to make a public statement that illegal immigrants are viable, productive citizens like anyone else, Weber said. “We don’t want them to be second-class citizens anymore,” he said. At Wednesday’s RFSD board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Judy Haptonstall, who will become superintendent in June, said that Latino students at GSHS are “acting with respect” about the walkout, making sure to find out from school officials what’s against the rules and what’s not. “We can’t keep any student from walking out,” Haptonstall said. “They will do what they will do.”She said the walkout is a community safety issue, and urged all parents to know where their kids are that day. Weber, who did not attend the board meeting, said many parents are involved in the proposed walkout. But while many students may skip class to speak their minds, Haptonstall said schools may be offering speakers of their own that day, “encouraging students to learn more about the political issues, rather than following someone out the door.”In other business at Wednesday’s board meeting, the board discussed the fate of the Old Brick Building in Basalt, which community organizers want to turn into a community center. RFSD finance director Shannon Pelland said several nonprofit organizations are considering moving into the building, including the Buddy Program, Aspen Counseling, YouthZone and others. Board members said they would like to preserve the building, which may be on track to open as a community center in about two years. The board is also considering adopting a school wellness policy as mandated by federal law. The policy, which passed a first reading Wednesday night, sets forth three goals: To provide a comprehensive learning environment for developing “lifelong wellness behaviors” for students; to promote eating habits that will contribute to students’ good health and academic performance; and to allow students an opportunity for physical education. The policy would mandate that the district teach students about nutrition and healthy eating habits; prohibit or restrict student access to vending machines, school stores and other places on campus where students buy junk food; provide healthy food at school functions; and, among other things, require high school students to take two semesters of physical education and a semester of health. The board will address the policy again at its May 10 meeting. Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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