TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Students of USD 345, Seaman School District, rallied together outside of the district office to stand up for what they believe in. Some students in the district are pushing for a name change and hoping to grab the attention of district officials.
“We want them to set up a set deadline and a set plan that says, ‘this is when we are going to vote’ or ‘this is when we are going to talk about this to change things,’” Kaya Pyle, one of the student organizers for the protest, said.
They want the name changed after student journalists in the district found an article from 1925 showing that the founder, Fred Seaman, was a Ku Klux Klan leader. Senior students said their own beliefs do not line up with that original foundation.
“I feel like the people of color at USD 345 they are such a minority that they don’t have a lot of power. And they are possibly scared to say their real opinions and speak up for themselves,” Pyle said.
Pyle isn’t the only one who believes this. Numerous students at the protest felt the same way.
“My family is Catholic and I am gay so that didn’t exactly jive well with Fred Seaman and what he stood for,” Forrest Brungardt, a Seaman High School student, said.
The students also started a petition to change the district name. It has over 4,000 signatures as of Feb. 28. They said this is their first step in making a difference.
The students also have a protest planned on March 15. This is a also the same day as the next district board meeting. They are hoping by protesting at the meeting the school officials will discuss the name change.