Students Rally for Their Future in Duluth

By KBJR News 1

October 29, 2011 Updated Oct 29, 2011 at 7:21 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northlands NewsCenter) -- The Minnesota Power Plaza in downtown Duluth is no stranger to rallies, especially these days with the Occupy Wall Street movement reaching nearly every city in the nation, big and small. Yet, perhaps no rally in the plaza's recent history has hit with a message as close to home as the one that took place earlier Saturday.

"We need to make sure that we get the best education possible, so we can make Duluth grow. It's so fundamental not only for our students but for Duluth because it impacts Duluth directly," said Hannah Carlson, senior at Duluth East.

The rally, headed by the district–wide Student Council "Students for the Future," was on a mission to increase public awareness of the school levy proposal, which will be presented in the form of three questions on the upcoming November 8th ballot.

"Basically we're just trying to get the word out, y'know, explain what 'vote yes,yes,yes is,' explain the importance of this levy to the district and what it means to students like us," said Marcus Jahn, senior at East and Student Advisor to the school board.

Armed with fresh insight, signs, and an abundance of sidewalk chalk, the students set out to share with the public—both verbally and visually—the importance of getting behind the levy and the seemingly endless possibilities it would bring the school district.

Reflecting for a bit on the issue, Jahn said, "There are a lot of problems in our schools that can easily be solved just with a little more money from this levy—just voting yes, yes, yes. This could be class sizes, it could be activities, facilities, anything. It just would help us a lot."

Of course, for students like Jahn, it's not simply about additions to the curriculum. If anything, the levy is about preventing the funding cuts that are sometimes thought as responsible for eliminating classes and extra–curricular activities.

"Without the funding we're going to get cuts. Extra–curriculars are going to get cut, special classes like journalism and things like that are going to get cut," said Carlson.

The future of the school levy is uncertain, and only the ballot results on November 8th will tell the tale. Until then, however, students like Jahn and Carlson plan to keep spreading the word, hoping that Northlanders will get behind them in the fight for their future.