SHS Students Speak Out

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Superior Telegram

Superior H.S. Imposes Lunchtime Club Ban

The Superior School Board meeting Monday drew a standing room-only crowd — most to hear about whether the district should prohibit student groups from setting up tables in the high school commons during lunch.

A dozen speakers — mostly students — capped off the School Board’s Committee of the Whole meeting with concerns about the decision made over spring break.

Thomas Chicka, left, laughs as Dylan Schelinder, center, shows a sticker to Dawn Wilson at the Gay-Straight Alliance table during the lunch hour as a pair of students walk by in the third-floor hallway at Superior High School on Tuesday, April 2. The GSA was selling shirts and buttons for the Day of Silence on April 12. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Thomas Chicka, left, laughs as Dylan Schelinder, center, shows a sticker to Dawn Wilson at the Gay-Straight Alliance table during the lunch hour as a pair of students walk by in the third-floor hallway at Superior High School on Tuesday, April 2. The GSA was selling shirts and buttons for the Day of Silence on April 12. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

As of March 18, the first day back from spring break, student-led clubs are no longer allowed to use the space.

“They are able to still meet; they can still connect; they can still communicate,” District Administrator Amy Starzecki said. “We haven’t taken any student voice away in that capacity. It’s just a matter of tabling at the lunch room.”

Senior Noah Roe, president of the Students for Life club, told the board he believed the change was in response to an event the club held the Friday before spring break.

“‘All Means All’ is the motto of the school district and I don’t think what is happening really represents, yet, that ‘all means all,'” Roe said. “Every student matters. Even if it’s conservative and even if people don’t want to hear it, we have the freedom of speech.”

He pointed out that the move shut down the voices of all clubs and asked the board to reconsider.

The timing was especially bad for the Gay-Straight Alliance club. Members were preparing to sell T-shirts and pins on April 12 for the Day of Silence, which highlights the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ people at school. This week, they set up their table in the third-floor hallway instead.

Thomas Chicka, left, Dylan Schelinder, center, and Dawn Wilson look at stickers while they work at the Gay-Straight Alliance table during the lunch hour in the third-floor hallway at Superior High School on Tuesday, April 2. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Thomas Chicka, left, Dylan Schelinder, center, and Dawn Wilson look at stickers while they work at the Gay-Straight Alliance table during the lunch hour in the third-floor hallway at Superior High School on Tuesday, April 2. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Starzecki said she and high school administrators have fielded a number of concerns from parents and students about club activities in the commons area since the fall, involving more than one club.

“We’re trying not to disrupt the lunch time, because it’s carrying over into the classrooms following lunch,” Starzecki said. “The dialogue, the frustration — it’s carrying over.”

She helped draft a message to parents over spring break detailing the temporary change.

“This isn’t a forever deal,” and it doesn’t violate district policy, Starzecki said.

Students involved in extracurricular and co-curricular activities, which include DECA, drama, student council, Skills USA and sports, can still use the commons for displays. Until clear parameters are set to ensure students feel safe and prevent disruption of the learning environment, student-led clubs can’t.

William McClellan, co-president of the Interact Club, said…

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