DHS students hold peaceful protest

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Brent Smith Holding a peaceful protest sign at an SCRC sponsored protest

Jack McCracken, Staff

With Covid-19 shutting down many schools in the area, De Soto High School was confirmed to originally be completely remote at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.  Many people in the community opposed this decision, causing the school board to eventually overturn the stance and send students back in a hybrid learning model. One of many attendees at the board meeting was senior Brent Smith.

“Our group, the Student Coronavirus Response Coalition (SCRC), was able to get over 100 people to show up and support going to school in-person and having fall athletics,”  Smith said.

In order to have gatherings and protests, there was a lot of planning that made it all possible.  The SCRC not only prepared for two protests that were held at in De Soto, they are responsible for six protest in five school districts.

“We made sure to get hand sanitizer and masks to ensure that everyone was safe when they arrived,” senior SCRC member Kyle Smith said.

Although they have schoolwork and much more going on, the SCRC continued to urge for change, unknowing of what the outcome would be.

“We just brainstormed a lot of ideas and pros and cons about the protest,  then we decided to just go for it,”  senior SCRC member Kylee Collins said.

The outcome of the event exceeded their expectations with over a 100 within the community showing up and supporting at both events.  The protest not only reached people in De Soto but those throughoutstate.

“We received news coverage from a number of different local [news] stations and ultimately got the attention of administrators and board members,” Brent said.

The SCRC is not only present at DHS, but multiple other high schools within the area, where to protests have been held to help sway the decisions of administrators.  

“SCRC has actually been responsible for six protests in five different school districts since our protest at DHS in July,” Brent said.

With the DHS hybrid schedule, allowing students to go to school part-time, students have been able to engage in social activity and get hands-on help from their teachers. The safety of the community is still a top priority, but as long as the safety guidelines are followed, school to can be a safe place for students.