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BISD student protests gaining traction
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
The BISD student movement is gaining traction.
Students are fighting to stop teacher cuts that could mean eliminating some fine arts programs.
Some BISD students say they are planning to protest at every board meeting form now on until cuts are stopped.
Protesting outside the Beaumont school administration building was not the way these BISD students planned to begin their summer vacation.
But they realize there's no time to waste.
"If we don't fight now there won't be anything left to fight for after the summer is over," Antonio Trevino, an incoming Ozen high school senior says.
Antonio Trevino says he and his theater friends began organizing as soon as they heard about the proposed cuts last Friday.
"I just had like 15 messages before I checked my phone and I thought somebody had died to be honest and then I checked and realized art was dying," Trevino says.
"I think it's not fair, why don't' they cut off sports or math," Ashley Sanchez and incoming Ozen freshman says.
Cuts their teacher says are unfairly targeted at fine arts.
"I understand the district is in financial straights, I understand it's bad, the thing about it is these children are not the reason the district is in trouble and to make the lion share of the cuts impact them directly is wrong," Gina Martin, the director of theater arts at Ozen says.
Board members voted to delay the cuts at a budget meeting Monday, but the superintendent says layoffs will be inevitable as the district tries to find 25 million dollars for next year.
"Ultimately students are what matter and when you balance the budget on the backs of the teachers you balance it on the backs of the students," Martin said.
A weight these students says is too great to bear for them and their teachers.
"We need to protect the fine arts programs for the future generations and this generation now," Trevino said.