In an effort to bring civics to life, South High School teacher Rob Duren invited two of Colorado’s prominent leaders to meet with his students and have a conversation about civics and equity. Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Denver Public Schools (DPS) Superintendent Tom Boasberg participated in a conversation on Wednesday, Oct. 12, with nearly 100 civics students at South HS.
“One of my favorite things about South is the diversity,” said Duren.
“South is the epitome of what a public school should look like, with students who represent the world,” added Jen Hansen, principal at South HS.
When asked what equity means to them, students responded with answers like, “it means every student gets what they need, no matter where they come from,” and, “it means not everyone getting the same thing, but everyone getting what they need to succeed.”
During the Q&A session with the Mayor and Superintendent Boasberg, a student asked what DPS was doing to close the opportunity gap.
“The gaps we see in schools are the gaps we see in society,” said Boasberg. “There is no place with more potential to close those gaps than our schools. It is up to us to refuse to let any kid fall behind or fail.”
“With protest comes great responsibility,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “It is courageous to bring about change, especially when you are willing to roll-up your sleeves and take a seat at the table where change is made.”
The discussion was a valuable learning opportunity for students, and they left the conversation thinking about the civic opportunities and responsibilities they carry. South High School serves many families who are new to the U.S. through their Newcomer Center, which provides programs designed to help refugees and community members who have limited or interrupted education in their home countries. More than 40 percent of students at South HS speak more than one language – which represents over 70 different countries from around the world.
For more information about South HS and their programs, visit south.dpsk12.org.