School protest

Greater Johnstown High School sophomore Jaydah Favor, her mother Vanessa Mikas and Amy Robatin talk outside the school on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. The three were organizers for a planned protest of school leadership. 

Two parents and students who called for a protest Tuesday at Greater Johnstown High School said they were not disappointed that no one joined them.

“I think that the support we have all received so far on social media and such has really gotten the word out,” Amy Robatin said in the high school parking lot. “I am hoping for change regardless of who shows up here.”

She suggested rainy weather and ongoing COVID-19 concerns kept others from joining Tuesday’s “The Demand for Change ‘Greater Johnstown School District’ ” protest.

Robatin is calling for an investigation into a 2018 incident involving another student allegedly pointing a gun at her daughter. She says the incident and response reflect the school district’s leadership issues.

“The school has not handled children with mental health issues appropriately,” Robatin said.

Administrators on Monday responded to Robatin’s allegation, saying there was no record of the incident being reported to the district.

“I left at least a dozen messages with the district office,” Robatin said. “There is no excuse for a school district not calling me back.”

Robatin and her daughter were joined by Vanessa Mikas and her daughter, Jaydah Favor, who has called for a protest of the high school dress code.

Jaydah said enforcement of the dress code seems biased.

“The boys don’t get sent home to change, but girls get sent home or get detention,” she said.

“Some girls get dress-coded all the time.”

Student objections to the dress code prompted the district to form a committee of students, parents and faculty to review the current code and make any appropriate changes.

After attending the committee’s first meeting Tuesday morning, Jaydah remained skeptical.

“They kept cutting us off and talking over us,” she said at the protest event. “They just seemed like they just did it to make themselves look better.”

Another protest is scheduled for Wednesday.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5057. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.

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