Still not happy

DM students protest return to full schedule.

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Jack Yampolsky (11), Sophie Perlstein (10), Maya Ekobo (10), and Amanda Ortega (10) protest the SUSD Governing Board’s decision earlier this month to move to six periods. More than 80 percent of students and teachers preferred the old schedule, according to polling.

Matthew Colvin

More than a week of the full six-period schedule hasn’t changed most students’ minds.

They still don’t like it.

“The School Board prioritized their own agenda and beliefs over the voices of the vast majority of students,” said junior Kylie Braun, among the dozens of students who protested the Scottsdale Unified School District decision earlier this month. Despite recent surveys that suggested 87 percent of students favored to keep the modified block schedule, the board voted 3-2 split return to the regular seven hour school day.

Even though they knew the protest might not change the schedule, students said they needed to speak out.

“We just had to take action after the absurdity the School Board decided on” says Chris Colby (10), who attended the March 4 protest. “Frankly, I just can’t understand how they look at the surveys and polls and come to this decision, to return full time.”

Senior Ben Collison said that “the health and safety of the students and teachers are clearly not a priority.”

“The logic behind this decision is egregious and flawed.”

The protest took place just outside the 7000s building and students gathered to fight for the cause they believed in. Students took turns speaking in front of the crowd, voicing their opinions.

Derek Ramirez (10) said the decision “just doesn’t make sense”.

“To be completely honest, I don’t think the School Board respects us or the teachers,” he said. “What we had before was perfect for the current state of this pandemic.”

While 87 percent of students disapproved of the return to a regular schedule, what about the other 13 percent?

Freshman Brooklyn Hall, who just started her high school experience this year, said that describing her experience as a roller coaster would be an understatement.

“I just want to get back to some consistency and actually experience high school,” she said. “I mean, I don’t feel like I’ve learned much this year, because of all the inconsistencies of the School Board’s decisions.

“Returning back to full time will hopefully bring some normalcy back to our daily lives.”

Hall said she understands student outrage. “But this past year hasn’t been the kindest to most students’ academic success and mental health,” she said “And also with most teachers receiving the vaccine, I believe a return to full time can be done safely.”

Devyn Lyles (10), who is returning from EDL, also supports a safe return to the full schedule.

“Our mental health is just as important and I’m mainly glad that the School Board saw the importance behind that,” he said, “as we’re finally returning to a normal six period day.”