Five seniors attended a district board meeting Monday to request that steel letters spelling out “library” be hung outside the school. The letters, similar to the ones already outside the gym, come from Mission Valley, an SMSD middle school closed in 2012.
“Our goal is to get the sign on the front of the library so that it more adequately represents all of the features of our school,” Student Body President Kyle Baker, who attended the meeting, said. “STUCO is willing to pay for it.”
The students approached school administration last week asking the district for permission to hang the signs. After hearing the district had denied their request, they decided to attend Monday’s board meeting in order to present their case.
“What we talked about was how we felt like we wanted to tribute our retired librarian, [Kathi] Knop, and that this graduating class of 2016 was the last class to ever walk through the halls of Mission Valley,” Student Body Treasurer Laurell Stegelman said.
According to Baker and Stegelman, the administration’s main concern is that the buildings of the district all look the same in order to promote unity.
“We were just trying to express our thoughts that each school should be able to have – as long as everything looks nice and is under the same nice looking umbrella – that we should be able to have some kind of individualism,” Baker said.
Because the board doesn’t give responses at meeting, the students, who received “a lot of great feedback from people in the audience” according to Baker, are now waiting to hear back from them.
Principal John McKinney told the students Tuesday that he has been working with librarian Bill Hiles and Knop to place the letters inside the library along with a plaque, if the board denies the seniors’ request. The students say they will be disappointed if the letters can’t be hung outside, but have decided they won’t fight whatever decision is made.
“We’re definitely content with it being on the inside,” Stegelman said. “It was just kind of frustrating for us because we felt like we were being told ‘no’ for no reason.”