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Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Students rally in front of City Hall for their school

Gabrielly Araujo
Student Rally


On April 11, 2024, the Danbury High School Democrats and UNICEF clubs held a rally in front of city hall to advocate for better funding for the school system. The rally was student-led with the support of UNICEF advisor, Ms. Lorenz, and DHS Democrats advisor Ms.Perez, as well as DHS teachers Mr. Shafer, Ms. Pereira, and Mr. Violano. 

Students protested for better school funding, the reapportioning of funds to extracurricular resources, and overall safety and mental health for both students and teachers. Some students said they were embarrassed to have friends from other districts visit DHS because many of the bathroom stalls don’t close and the technology is outdated, naming unreliable projectors and wi-fi as specific issues… DHS junior Domenic Burns talked to a council member about overcrowding, saying, “[they] do not have enough tables in their classrooms” and that “some kids sit on makeshift desks [or] floors.” Unfortunately, teachers often have to reach into their own pockets or ask students’ parents to reach into theirs to buy the bare necessities for their classrooms.  They explained how students are struggling to learn because of the lack of funding and that teachers do not have the resources to adequately help their students as a result. 


Participants in the rally repeated the fact that out of 169 schools in the state of Connecticut, Danbury High School receives the least funding. This is exacerbated by the fact that enrollment numbers are continually rising and have been for the past 15 years. 

The most prevalent chants throughout the rally consisted of “SOS – save our schools,” “Back our schools,” “Hey-hey ho-ho the mayor’s budget has got to go,” and “Don’t let our future sink.”


Mikayla Murphy, a senior student at DHS said that she decided to attend the rally because even though she is graduating in 2024, she does not want the people that she cares about to suffer from an issue that should’ve been resolved a long time ago. She mentioned that younger people deserve something better than what she is currently getting “and even if [she] won’t be able to [have this] experience, [she] wants everyone in the future to experience [it].” Ava Mourning, a sophomore, believes that the school’s problem with being underfunded has to change not only for her grade but for younger grades coming in from middle school. 

Mayor Alves allowed the students to ask questions and voice their opinions, inviting the students who were rallying to attend the scheduled public hearing. 


The hearing inside Danbury’s City Hall consisted of public comment but did not include council members’ responses. At Chairman Peter Buzaid’s request, students decided to speak.

Students, parents, and teachers repeatedly told council members that the new budget is below the amount needed to even turn on the lights next year, some specifically mentioning the lack of resources for the ELL (English Language Learner) students saying resources haven’t been upgraded in 14 years.


During the public hearing, it was stated multiple times that teachers are already lacking desperately needed resources and this new budget threatens to make matters worse. Multiple speakers asked council members to “look under a rock” for more funding because the current budget plan is insufficient for an already struggling school district. 

A lot of people wanted to make it known that the Alves administration is doing better than the previous administration at listening to teachers. According to Erin Daly, the teachers’ union president and a third-grade teacher at Pembroke Elementary, “in under 6 months in office Mayor Alves has done more than any other administration.” 


There is no doubt that everyone present at the hearing wants a solid-functioning school. A lot of parents and teachers came to say that if the money were properly managed, they would have no problem paying a reasonable increase in taxes. Many attendees also said they appreciated that the hearing was held at 7 pm, making it easier for them to participate.

Gabrielly Araujo
Gabrielly Araujo
Gabrielly Araujo

Gabriel Alladin, a freshman at Danbury High School, read a slam poem that he wrote in his English class to the council members. In this poem, he mentions how the school asks its students to reach for the stars when in reality, they cannot even reach the clouds. 


Students at the rally chose to stay in the rain, not for some extra points or a school project, but because they care about this cause and their future. It’s clear that the public wants to be a part of a community that supports its students 

Education is the most powerful weapon that humans can acquire and unfortunately, this weapon is being endangered. 

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Gabrielly Araujo
Gabrielly Araujo, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Gabrielly, and this is my first year writing for the Hatters Herald. I joined this class because it offers the opportunity to write about anything and everything you wish to. Personally, I have a deep-seated passion for music and a fondness for binge-watching TV shows.

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