Outcry from Students and Community Changes School Schedule - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Outcry from Students and Community Changes School Schedule

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By Alex Schuman

aschuman@myabc5.com

@alexschuman

Sometimes an impassioned plea is enough to get results.

"I stand here to inform my peers that we can't just settle for what we are dealt," said Avery Jackson, a senior at Hoover High School to the Des Moines School Board.  "I stand on faith because that is what Dr. King stood on."

Jackson got more than he expected after giving this speech in front of a standing-room-only crowd Thursday night.

"There's nothing better that could've happened," he said.
 
He and his friends in the NAACP Youth Council wanted to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 21st by doing service projects - not sitting in class, making up a snow day like the school board planned.

When the board told them earlier this week the decision had already been made, they turned to one of the lessons of Dr. King's life.

"People told him no all the time," said Jackson.

The students' passion, and the anger among community members of all races pushed the Des Moines Public School Board to hold a special meeting on Thursday. 

Board members voted 7 to 0 to move the snow days into June and celebrated the students' effort.

"We should be proud all be proud that there's many of [these students] in all five of our comprehensive high schools," said Joe Jongewaar, board member.

Jackson hopes people across the state see that they made a difference, and learned a bit of what he thinks Dr. King wants us all to understand.

"Don't just sit back and take what you're dealt because we didn't and we won," he said.

Jackson and the NAACP Youth Council will help Des Moines Schools figure out how to better celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the future.  That means they will hold another meeting later this year to decide if they need to change next year's schedule.

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