DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A group of Dayton high school students visited the Ohio Statehouse on Wednesday demanding change in their community.
Meadowdale CTC students shared the problems they experience in Dayton with state legislators in Columbus after first addressing them in their classrooms.
One of those issues is the constant struggle Dayton Public Schools students face with school transportation.
“Students switched from riding yellow busses to riding the public RTA, which is Dayton’s mass transit system,” Kevin O’Donnell, Meadowdale government teacher, said. “That means they’re riding the bus with all kinds of adults, and that has been pretty rocky. A lot of them wrote their testimonies about the problems with school transportation and also calling for the state to change some of the laws that are making school transportation harder.”
O’Donnell is the high school government teacher behind the initiative. He said these students have been working on these issues for months, with other concerns being sex trafficking, foster care and reducing gun violence.
State representative Willis Blackshear Jr., Phil Plummer and other legislators were present to hear students concerns and to offer solutions.
Moving forward, Dayton Public Schools said they would love to see this done at all schools across the district.
“I think it would be great if this could be an opportunity that every Dayton high school has to do this annually,” Jocelyn Spencer Rhynard, Dayton Public Schools board member, said. “You know, whatever government teachers have the ability to do every single year, I think it would be great. Give kids the tools to understand how to advocate for themselves in their community every single year.”
Meadowdale has advocated at the Statehouse in past, but the school says the ultimate goals is to go to the U.S. Capitol to have student voices heard.