Hoopa Valley High Students Protest Over Mold and Other Issues

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By KETERAH LIPSCOMB, Two Rivers Tribune

On May 18 The Hoopa Valley Youth Council and additional students held a No Show and protest against Klamath Trinity Joint Unified School District over Mold and other issues. The protest was held at the Hoopa Youth Center near the District Office from 10:30 a.m. until noon.

“The protest was held because we wanted to get the attention of the district office. We thought if we got enough students to not show up to school that would get attention, and it did, Kisdiyante Joseph, a student at HHS and member of the Hoopa Valley Youth Council, said.

Lovae Blake, who oversees the Hoopa Valley Youth Council was there in support of the group. She provided drinks and snacks.

“All the students who are on the Youth Council were present the entire time of the Protest,” Blake said.

About 30-40 students attended, some from HHS some from the Community Day School as well as some parents.

The students asked for answers to major issues facing their schools such as percieved mistreatment of faculty, the school not publicizing resources to get medical treatment/inspection for students due to the mold and more. The students also expressed their concern about school technology being a higher priority than nurses or other needed faculty positions. Students advocated for a staff position to help seniors make higher education plans, as well as teaching vocational occupations and skill needed to transition into a successful adult. Students also said there is a lack of communication between administration, faculty, parents and students.

The students ask that the school district address the issues they have identified. They are also asking for help from the community and youth to identify solutions and get results.

“We chanted and held signs while we marched to the district office and demanded to speak with Superintendent Jon Ray. The superintendent came out and spoke to us and we got some answers from him,” Joseph said.

KTJUSD was closed for one week in February due to black mold found throughout several classrooms and buildings on various campuses within the district. Most of the school campuses within the district have at least one major building that is closed due to mold abatement.

Building and classroom closures have forced the district to juggle complex situations such as how to feed 200 students two meals per day out of a food trailer or snack bar.

Students are having a difficult time adjusting to the changes and it is shows. Students are frustrated because they do not have access to hot food and are given sack lunches every day, which they say, is all processed food.

Jon Ray Superintendent at KTJUSD was not available to comment by press time.

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