By Ron Marasco
Martin Luther King Jr. championed change during his lifetime and that's exactly what some younger members of the NAACP did Tuesday night.
"We refuse to wait and hold our breaths any longer and hope for change, when change starts now," said student Malikia Johnson
And with that, members of the NAACP youth council vowed their voices will be heard. And at the Des Moines Public School Board meeting, they were.
"With this Martin Luther King Day of service in school, that's taking away from our day of service," said student Johnneisha Long. "Though the teachers may be talking about the services we could do, why not get out there and do them on the day of service? That's what Martin Luther King Day is for."
That comment was met with rousing applause. But the district says they can't take it up because it's not on the agenda, plus it's too difficult to change course now.
"It would be too disruptive to all of those who have already planned for school to be going the 21st to change it now," said Des Moines School Board President Dick Murphy.
Murphy says the calendar committee discussed using MLK Day as a snow make-up day over a year ago and nobody spoke up then. But he's hoping he can at least make things better for this year.
"Actually we're working with the youth group to ensure that that school day there are activities going on in the school to commemorate the holiday as a national day of service," said Murphy. "And those students will be taking some leadership roles in that."
The youth council members we spoke to conceded they probably can't change the make–up day this year, but vow next year will be a different story.