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Students In Frankfort: Now It's A Fight

Prichard Committee / Student Voice Team

Lawmakers looking out over the Kentucky Capitol steps Monday morning witnessed a sea of student protesters – all there to urge the passage of an unamended House Bill 236.

The measure affording students a spot on superintendent screening committees has been weighed down by two Senate amendments dealing with religious speech in schools and transgender bathrooms.

Claire Gothard, a senior at duPont Manual High School in Louisville, told WUKY students aren’t about to give up.

"Overall it's made a lot of students a lot more motivated," she says. "It's a challenge, whereas earlier it was like, 'Yeah, this is great that we're doing this,' and now it's something that we have to fight for and I think we're getting a lot more involved."

Rally organizers estimate the crowd at around 250. Protesters held signs reading “Student Voice Matters” and a banner emblazoned with the hashtag “Save Our Bill.”  Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and Lexington Sen. Reggie Thomas also lent their voices to the cause. 

And while the demonstrators remain optimistic, the legislation faces increasingly stiff odds as it competes with several higher profile bills on heroin and the gas tax during the final two days of the session.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.