Boise students plan walkout to protest Betsy Devos, cutting class could cost students

Posted at 6:12 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 12:09:20-05

Some high school students are planning to walk out of class Thursday and hold a rally against the new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The teens argue DeVos is unqualified to be in charge of their public education, But Boise School District administrators say ditching class could cost students.

"We are expecting a huge turnout from Boise High because they are so close," said Colette Raptosh, a student at Capitol High School.

The 16-year- old was not old enough to vote this election but that hasn't stopped her from making her voice heard. She helped plan the Boise Women's March the day after President Trump's Inauguration. Now Raptosh is organizing a  rally against the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Based on social media, she's expecting  600 people, mostly students, to show up at the Statehouse at 10-am on Thursday,  But not before they walk out of class.

"This is definitely not against the teachers, this isn't against the Boise school district this is showing that we want to make sure our state stays how amazing it is," said Raptosh.

Colette says DeVos's stance on School Choice and special education will hurt public school students in the Gem State.

"We really wanted to get students involved especially because it does regard us," said Raptosh.

But the Boise School District is holding fast to its attendance policy.  Without notification from a parent, students who walk out will be counted as an unexcused absence and face ramifications, possibly even having classes on Saturday.The district points out students had seven days off this school year because of snow days and they need to catch up.

"We need students in school, there is a reason we hold school every day, important learning occurs every day," said Boise School District Spokesman Dan Hollar

Hollar says they reached out the student organizers asking them to change the time of the walk out to during lunch or after school, but, Colette says walking out of class is just as important the rally itself.

"This is their chance to get involved this is the time where they need to be learning, they need to be going out and discovering what it means to have your rights and be able to use them," said Raptosh. "This is about the future this isn't about the next 24-hours or the next week."

Both Idaho senators voted in favor of Betsy DeVos. She was only confirmed after Vice President Mike Pence broke a senate deadlock, A first in U-S history.