De Soto students look to start political clubs

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Lindsay Dodd, Staff Reporter

This year, in particular, has been a year for new beginnings at De Soto High School for both sides of the political spectrum. Over the past years at DHS, students have tried to get involved in politics by starting up clubs to educate others on different stances they can take to impact their community before entering adulthood. This year, there are three students who are working hard to have an impact on their peers. 

Junior founder Camden Henry and senior co-founder Kaitlyn Tait, have taken action in starting what will be called, “Young Conservatives of De Soto.” 

“We started this club because the active suppression of conservative voices in schools is a very real thing,” Henry said. “I have had this idea since I was a freshman in high school. I just didn’t know the people to help me start it.”

They started by emailing DHS Activities Director Ryan Johnson and Principal Sam Ruff. 

The group also started an Instagram page to create awareness. 

 “We have an Instagram which reached close to 100 followers in 24 hours. Some positive, some negative,” Henry said.  

When they began organizing the club, they received some hateful comments over why this club should even be a consideration since most high schoolers cannot vote.

“This club is supposed to encourage students to take a more active role in politics. They are soon to be voters. We need to pay attention to politics,” Henry said. 

As the conservative club continues to work to become an official club, the other side of the political spectrum is coming up with their own plan too. 

Senior founder Hunter Finerty has also become involved in starting a group called, “Kansas High School Democrats.”

“I think that a lot of teens are at the point where they are realizing politics can impact them, and they want to form their own opinions,” Finerty explained. 

Finerty also stated that students from other schools, such as senior Amita Ganesh from Blue Valley High school, have similar clubs and have reached out about starting a club at DHS. 

“She reached out to me after we had been involved in a “Zero Reasons Why” Zoom together and she asked me if I would be interested in starting a chapter at our school,” Finerty said. 

After talking with the student from Blue Valley, she took action by finding a sponsor, French teacher Cheron Tiffany, and mentioning the idea on her private Instagram page. She is currently working with Les Lampe, who is a candidate for the Kansas State House, sending out postcards explaining what he stands for. 

The democratic club has formally turned in their paperwork to the school’s administration. At press time, the conservative club has not turned in its paperwork or announced who the faculty sponsor will be. While neither groups have been approved by the administration yet, they are both still taking action independently to make young adults more aware and involved in politics.