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South Sioux City School Students to Protest Today

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A group of South Sioux City High School students has invited the public to join them at a protest today, but school administrators have already said that that type of demonstration is not allowed. Last week, 100 students demonstrated to show concerns about school officials are handling racial equality, religious freedom, and treatment of LGBTQ students.

According to a Facebook post, a second protest has been scheduled for 3:30 p.m. across the street from the school. The post said students are asking for community members to attend.

Wednesday, the district published a message regarding the walkout, including a video link. School-sponsored activities planned by the students and faculty shall be in conformance with board policies, Superintendent Todd Strom Strom said in the video. Strom said, "protests, walkouts, demonstrations, those are forbidden in schools and on school grounds are not allowed."

Strom encouraged students to bring concerns to a classroom teacher, school counselor, or building principal. He also said students could reach out to the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Awareness group (IDEA) or use the district's "Let's Talk" form on the website to voice any concerns. Strom said the video and message were an attempt to restate the rules and expectations for students so they do not receive a violation. He said the school wants to provide a safe, educational environment and last Friday was a distraction.

A new survey of bankers suggests strong economic growth continues in rural parts of 10 Western and Plains states even though business continues to lag behind its level before the coronavirus pandemic began. 

The overall index for the region declined slightly from March's 71.9 but remained at a healthy level of 69. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy. 

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said improving grain prices, continued low-interest rates, and growing exports have all helped the economy in rural areas. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming were surveyed.<--break->

  

 The South Dakota Board of Regents says the state's six public universities and two special schools are planning for a return to more normal operations this fall. 

The board's executive director Brian Maher says that with vaccines available now in higher education and K-12 settings, the universities are looking forward to more normal operations ahead. 

Administrators say they will continue to monitor circumstances as the semester continues, making adjustments as necessary.  The Board of Regents is the governing body for Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Northern State University, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, South Dakota School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, and South Dakota School for the Deaf. University of South Dakota Vice President of Academic Affairs Kurt Hackemer says the low number of positive cases on campus is the major reason the school can transition back to normal.  As long as the numbers stay low, Hackemer says they plan to return to a normal seating arrangement, no masks, and classes will be entirely in person.

For the remainder of the spring semester, USD plans to stick with modified classes. That includes spaced-out seating, masks, and partially online courses.

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