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MCHS Students Standing Up For Their Rights

By Tammy Coulon

The Montezuma County RE-1 school board members were met at the door of MCHS (Montezuma County High School) last night, as students lined the stairs to the library. The children were in protest for the school being switched to remote learning and all activities canceled, as of October 27, 2021.

Summarizing last night- MCHS volleyball team, the football team, and the MCHS marching band Band were to head to the state tournaments, Volleyball was headed to regional in Pueblo, the football team had a game.

Their coaches were there in support, as well. the athletic director and an emergency meeting going on during the protest and the school board meeting.

It makes no sense for the decision of superintendent Risha VanderWay, in the scheduled canceling of in person learning the next day, while she and a room full of others are having an in person meeting. The school boards' meeting last night comprised of people masked and unmasked in side, yet some how... miraculously the critical stage of what is said to be an up-rise in Covid cases took a break so the Montezuma school board meeting could take place. Hypocrisy at its best.

Office of the Superintendent

You can contact her at (970) 565-7522

Many must wonder, where has the voice of reason gone? Our children are wanting a normal school year . They want to play sports, march in the band, sit in their class rooms while leaning among their peers.

Some of these healthy students actually have a chance to compete at the state level. This is accomplished goals, dedication, training and hard work. This doesn’t happen every year, that these students have worked hard for and just want the chance to finish. They want and deserve to complete what they started and trained for. The cry for our community should be united to let these young, healthy students finish their goals instead of shutting down.

Students, coaches and adults held signs in protest. Signs which spoke volumes and to anyone who tried to understand, these signs were extremely touching. Many signs would bring a compassionate tear as you read it and looked in the face of the hurting child.

Students have suffered greatly for way too long now. School just weeks in to the year, now being shut down. Sports and after school activities canceled. What seems to be a total disregard for truly whats best for these children.

Speaking with band member and senior at MCHS, Jayden Morgan “Really unfair to all of us especially since the band is an outdoor thing and I feel outside activities should be allowed. We are suppose to go to state on Monday (November 1) and now canceled. All the hard work for the last three months we have done and at our last competition we were not sure we were going to make state.”

Kim Martin, MCHS Band Booster President. “There is ZERO cases of sick students in the band. Our kids didn’t get to go last year and this will be especially hard for our seniors.”

We should be so proud of our young hard working students.

Let us not dismiss the words from our football team “Panthers don’t quit” “Panther Strong “ "LET US FINISH”.

For this correspondent, walking in the doors and seeing all the young faces standing up for their FREEDOMS, their right to participate in band and football, a range of emotions from proud, heart broken, and yes very upset to see all their hard work possibly gone for the year.

The students were respectful in their protest, holding their signs, wanting their voices heard and marching by the library during the scheduled meeting.

Will our students voices be heard?

How much longer should these young healthy students suffer?

Questions more parents should be asking of the Montezuma Re-1 school board and Superintendent.

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I couldn't agree more. I am so proud of the high schoolers for standing up for their rights. There is no reason that our kids cannot be kids.

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