Doylestown Hosts Student-Organized ‘School’s Out: A Concert for School Board Justice’

Sunday's event will feature local bands, student speakers, school board candidates, and organizing efforts to support LGBTQ youth and oppose books bans.

Central Bucks School District students have organized a concert for school board justice Sunday at the James-Lorah Memorial House from 5-8 p.m.

The School’s Out: A Concert for School Board Justice will feature talented local bands: Mister Monster, Pajammies, Left on the Right, and Red Sea, along with student speakers and CBSD school board candidates. This event has been planned by local student organizers Rowan Hopwood, Alexandra Coffey, CJ Weintraub, Zandi Hall, and along with assistance from co-organizer Lolly Hopwood. 

CB West Senior and organizer CJ Weintraub (they/them) says that this event has two main intentions. 

“One, to get more people, especially students, educated and involved in what’s been happening in CBSD. And two, to celebrate queer joy and the community that we have,” said Weintraub. “Unfortunately, not many students are fully aware of what’s happening in the district and why it’s so important to fight back. There is strength in numbers, and we are so lucky to have a lovely group of supporters by our sides. But we just want students to know that their voices matter and that we will be heard!”

They look to bring together community members to enjoy musical performances and listen to speakers talk about the fight for the rights of LGBTQ+ people and against book censorship in the Central Bucks School District. Tensions have been high in the district. Both book censorship and the removal of Pride flags has created a toxic environment for queer students.

Rowan Hopwood (he/him), a Lenape Middle School student, lead vocals for Mister Monster, and co-organizer of this event has experienced this environment first hand. “I’ve had to deal with so many unnecessary things because of CBSD,” said Hopwood. “I don’t want anyone to ever have to deal with what I’ve dealt with inside this school district.” Through this event, he looks to make CBSD a safer place for students like him.

Dave Ward (he/him), a member of the band Left on the Right, holds a similar sentiment. “I really wanted to be a part of this show because all the discrimination and unnecessary hate disgusts me, and I want everyone to know they’re not alone in this. They have our unconditional support and love,” said Ward. “As an advocate for mental health awareness, I know that bullying, mistreatment, and disrespect can lead to a lot of negative thoughts and self hate. Let this be a celebration of queer joy and rights, and hopefully a wake up call to others to stand up for what’s right.”

Merchandise from the bands performing, “protect trans kids” t-shirts, and crochet pride hearts will be available for purchase. Evolution Candy will be vending, while the Bucks County Young Democrats will be there to assist with voter registration.

CBSD Neighbors United endorsed school board candidates (Karen Smith, Heather Reynolds, Dana Foley, Rick Haring, and Susan Gibson) will all be attending the concert. As they are running for election in the fall, they will be there to talk about their campaigns and what they hope to offer to CBSD. Community events like these in which young people can connect with people running for elected positions are critical. Although most students can not yet vote, they should know who their friends and family members have the option of voting for. Through understanding what is happening in their district and knowing what the candidates stand for, students can spread the word about candidates they support, volunteer for their campaigns, and encourage those around them to do research before voting. Students have the power, and it is time for them to be both cultivators and guardians of the well-rounded education they desire.

Tickets can be bought for $12 online, $10 at Siren Records and Evolution Candy, and $12 at the door. All ticket proceeds will be donated to CBSD Neighbors United. James-Lorah Memorial House, where the concert is being held, is located at 132 North Main Street, Doylestown.

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Picture of Alexandra Coffey

Alexandra Coffey

Alexandra Coffey is an activist and organizer with both Bucks Liberation Coalition and Youth4Unity. She is a rising junior at CB West.

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