The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, 2018 sparked a movement that has quickly spread. That movement showed up on the state capitol steps in …
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The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, 2018 sparked a movement that has quickly spread. That movement showed up on the state capitol steps in Denver on March 14 when students from Colorado schools participated in an organized national walk out. The movement then rallied again on March 24 in over 400 cities around the nation for another nationally organized event entitled “March for Our Lives.”
Youth are mobilizing and demanding their voices be heard. Both the March 14 walk out and the March for Our Lives events were organized by youth who are calling for an end to gun violence in schools and communities. A good example of the youth movement is Manual High School graduate Tay Anderson. At 18, he ran for school board in October 2017 and gave an impassioned speech at the Ink! Coffee protest the next month. Now 19, he helped to organize the Denver March for Our Lives and is currently chief of staff for Representative Jovan Melton.
The George Washington High School Robotics Team at the Utah Regionals. The team earned a first place finish and qualified to compete in the national competition, held in Texas this month. Courtesy photo.
Another walkout which has gained a national following is the Columbine anniversary walkout scheduled for Friday, April 20. A petition on change.org which supports the walkout states: “We are the students, we are the victims, we are change, fight gun violence now! High School students across the U.S.A., the way to fight back is here. There has been too much complacency on the part of politicians when it comes to gun violence. The time to act is now!”
During a rally at the March for Our Lives event, speaker Tom Mauser, father of Columbine victim Daniel Mauser, encouraged the youth, saying, “This is your Vietnam.” But Mauser’s words, speaking of his son, who died nearly 20 years ago, were a reminder that gun violence and mass shootings in the United States are not new. What is new are the voices; today’s youth are not waiting to become policy makers. They are demanding change now and leveraging their power.
On March 2, Nick Dawkins resigned from his post as principal of Manual High School (1700 E. 28th Ave.). In his initial letter announcing his resignation, Dawkins did not state a reason for his departure but, a day later, posted a message on the Friends of Manuel Facebook page entitled, “Why I left Denver Public Schools.” In the message, Dawkins illustrates a string of challenging events that has plagued the school over the course of the past school year. Dawkins listed the death of two students, an unexpectedly low School Performance Framework (SPF) score, an incident at a football game where fans of the opposing team donned a confederate flag and made racist comments, in addition to the rescinding of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as just a few of the high-profile challenges. Finally, Dawkins cites lack of district support and the “toll my service has had on my family” that led him to step away.
The East High School (1600 City Park Esplanade) National Honor Society and Design studio are sponsoring the Empty Bowls project Wednesday, April 12 in the main foyer from 5:00p.m.-7:00p.m. A suggested donation of $15 will get you a meal and a bowl made by an East student. All proceeds will benefit the East High School Angel Pack program and Food Bank of the Rockies.
Running Wednesday, April 12 through Friday, April 14, the East High School Choir will host the annual POP show in the East Auditorium. Tickets are $8.00-15.00 and can be purchased either at the door or by visiting eastchoir.seatyourself.biz. More information can be found at eastchoir.com/angel-events.
On Wednesday, April 25, East High School will host the Wolcott Competition in the East Auditorium from 9:10a.m.-10:45p.m. One of the oldest speaking competitions in Colorado, seniors are welcome to enter, and the public is welcome to attend.
Following the Wolcott Competition, on Thursday, April 26 seniors will once again have the opportunity to show off their oratory skills at the Woodbury Competition. The event will kick off at 9:10a.m. in the East Auditorium and conclude at 10:45a.m.
Rounding out a busy week is the East High School Dance Company Showcase. Performances will run Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28 in the East Auditorium from 7:00p.m.-9:00p.m. Advance tickets can be purchased for as little as $7.00.
Fifth, sixth and seventh graders from Denver School of the Arts (DSA) (7111 Montview Blvd.) participated in the 2018 Colorado State Spelling Bee Competition, which was held at the University of Denver’s Sturm Hall on March 10. Seventh graders Finn Hilty and Maria Ciobanu entered the competition as co-champions of the 2018 City Orals District Championship Spelling Bee but it was sixth grader Angelina Holm who took top honors at this year’s event. Albertine Gingrass and Wyn Parney also represented DSA in the competition.
For the first time since its inception, the George Washington High School (GW) (655 S. Monaco Pkwy.) robotics team celebrated a win at the Utah regionals. After a number of tough preliminary rounds, the team battled for the win, which automatically qualifies them for Nationals this month in Texas.
Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS) (574 W. Sixth Ave.) is once again a finalist for the Succeeds Prize which recognizes the transformational impact of Colorado’s schools and educators. DCIS was nominated in 2017 and received honorable mention. The next step in the process will bring officials to DCIS to observe and interview administrators, teachers, students and parents. Winners will be announced in September.
On March 22, Morey Middle School and Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design (DSISD) (840 E. 14th Ave.) hosted an open-house to celebrate their recently completed, bond-funded, improvement projects. The shared campus now has new Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) labs, technology, new furniture and a number of other improvements all paid for by the 2016 bond measure.
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