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Marsh Valley High School students hold walkout in support of teachers

Students met in front of the Marsh Valley Joint School District Office on May 20. | Photo courtesy Claney Harris
ARIMO — Students from the Marsh Valley Joint School District 21 held a walkout in front of the administration office Monday, chanting, “No students, no teachers.”
Somewhere between 40 to 50 students protested peacefully in response to a decision made at this month’s school board meeting to eliminate one of the two positions in the business department.
The school district has a rubric based on a number of factors, such as class size and teacher qualifications, to determine what staff members are either removed or transferred to teaching in another subject.
There are two business teachers in the district and 17-year-old Claney Harris feels both of them are important members of the faculty.
“Whenever there’s something that needs to be done, I’ve witnessed that they’re always the first ones to help,” Claney said.
After this meeting was held, a huge number of students formed a group chat and began to decide what course of action they would take.
“Basically our whole school got on there and we were all like trying to get a time where everyone could come over here and do a protest,” Harris said.
The process for determining when to eliminate certain positions feels secretive, he said, and should be more transparent and out in the open.
A number of the students held signs at the protest pointed at Superintendent Gary Tucker, reading, “Mr. Tucker support us by supporting our teachers!” Another one said, “You can’t put students first if you put teachers last.”
Tucker explained the reasoning behind the decision in a conversation with A decline in the number of students is part of it, he says, and eliminating a business position would affect the fewest number of classes.
“We lost the fewest number of opportunities for classes by doing the business route versus doing the other two options, which were a science teacher and a social studies teacher. We would have lost more classes eliminating one of the other positions,” Tucker said.
And even if they eliminate a business position, it doesn’t necessarily mean the teacher will lose their job. He said it’s possible they could move one of the teachers into another role.
There’s currently an open position for a science teacher, but neither of the business teachers are certified to teach science.
“There’s a way that this all works out. I don’t know if it’ll work out that way,” Tucker said.
Harris explained that this protest was for Monday only, and he and the rest of the students wanted to meet with the superintendent or the rest of the school board.
Tucker expressed that he would also love to have a meeting with the students, and they can schedule time to meet with him. The number to reach the school district office is (208) 254-3306.
The agenda for the next school board meeting has not been set, but it will be held on June 10.
The post Marsh Valley High School students hold walkout in support of teachers appeared first on East Idaho News.

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