Students Walk Out of Hoopa High in Protest Over Mold and Other Issues


Some of the protesters. [All photos provided by Lovae Blake]

Lovae Blake, an adviser for the Hoopa Valley Youth Council, is also a concerned parent of students at Hoopa High. She and others in the Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District are worried about mold and what she says is a pattern of problems. Yesterday, she and others supported students in a walkout and a protest.

“We had probably 30 to 40 students come …plus several parents,” she explained. “It had to do with the mold issues, about the Superintendent wrongly firing some of the faculty and the food issue in the cafeteria and the students not being treated fairly.”

In February, schools in the district were closed for a week in order to concentrate on cleaning away the toxic mold. Some areas of the schools continue to be closed. Many in the community are upset over the problem, said Blake.

Additionally, Blake said, the problems with mold has affected Hoopa High School’s ability to serve hot food. Blake worries. She explained, “The students are getting bagged lunches every day. The food is not being kept at the proper temperature…The food is not nutritional. It is all processed.”


Superintendent Jon Ray speaks to protesters.

Blake said that the students marched to the District Office and asked to speak to Superintendent Jon Ray. The Superintendent came out and spoke to the students. “They got some answers from him,” Blake said. Now, she says, they wait and see if things change.


This student and the others in the photos below were at the protest.

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  • LeAnna Carson-Hansen

    May the students find sound mentors to guide them in their quest for answers. May the district be transparent in their communications with families and staff. Yes it has been difficult to lose classroom space, food service space, administrative offices and space used by Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, and other support personnel.

    Most difficult for the district is the the lack of folks willing and qualified to work with the students. Hopefully that will change in the upcoming school year.

    Each day I see dedicated highly trained classified and credentialed staff coming to work even though the challenges can seem so overwhelming. I see students and families wanting the best for their educational experience.

  • I cannot see with this Awesome Kindle Fire ! ? Blinded as a bat ! Can’t see out one eye &.Blinded in the other ! ? ✌✋✌💜

  • What better and meaningful pictures those would have been with students covering the failings of government by skipping studdies to clean the mold.

    • Do they allow non-professionals to clean that stuff? I thought it required special equipment. I’ll have to ask.

      • Not sure?

        When in highschool, we had 1 day a yr that was set aside for cleaning and helping landscaping. To help and show apprietiation for the maintance crew.

        Plus with this school being on Reservation land .. I doubt there is any restriction on who can clean.

        I just think the holding of signs and skipping out on responcibility should be a last resort … Not a go to … Especially for highschool students

        • In the school I teach and my three sons attend/ed, 15 minutes a day are spent in cleaning and the older kids help in bigger work during our (mostly) monthly cleanups. I think that is a great idea. I also think that peaceful protest half of one day a year is probably at least as educational as being in class that day. Whether or not I think this particular protest is important, civic engagement is a wonderful thing to teach students and I applaud the Superintendent for seriously addressing the students’ concerns.

      • Kym, I bet you have wiped mold off the bathroom walls in house without calling in a profesional. The same as I have and most everybody else reading this.

        • I live in Humboldt–of course I’ve wiped mold off the bathroom walls. But this sounds a bit worse. Here’s a quote from a Times Standard article about the problem: “The entire roof shall be removed, including all plywood and any affected wood beams below. All walls which are drywall, wall tile, ceiling tile and/or plaster shall also be removed. All cellulose ceiling tiles, drywall/joint compound and insulation shall also be removed through remediation. All areas shall be placed under full containment guidelines,” the findings said about facilities found to have mold.

          This is bringing up issues because of the cost of such endeavors and the age of the buildings.

          “My buildings were built in the ‘50s so I’m going to have lead paint and asbestos,” Ray said. (From here:

  • Annelia Hillman

    I think it is great that students are feeling empowered and using their voices to make change. I hope they learn more tools to effectively strategize. Research and power mapping would help. Perhaps leading the community to make demands at a state level could provide longer term solutions.

  • Big props for the students! My kids would not be going to that school till it was tore down a built new, black mold is no joke! There’s a huge mansion in Texas that was lost because of it, the owners were told to leave and couldn’t take any of their belongings, the ice maker in the fridge was leaking and caused the mold…

  • Robert Ulibarri

    One of the glossed over issues was the firing of Sandy Moon by Superintendent Ray for whistle blowing. It was she that exposed the mold problem and the result of doing so was the loss of her job. Ray has a history of this action and was fired from his previous job because of an affair with staff. He has got to go as even the students do not have his confidence.

    • Ya…Like it’s Ray’s fault for the mold? I suppose he is to blame for the drug and alcohol problem on the rez too? Ignorant adults using innocent kids to push their ridiculous adult agenda. Thanks for disempowering our youth by feeding them falacies…I’m sure you have done your part in establishing their credibility in their young lives.
      Also, Moon was NOT fired! She was told she was to be put back into the classroom next year where she had been very effective. SHE chose to retire from a long career and not go back to the classroom. Half her staff loved her and half did not.
      Now we are going to have a safe and modern environment for our kids when the construction is done. Look back on the accomplishments of the last 4-8 superintendents and after you get through roasting Ray, look in the mirror and ask, “what have I done to help our youth?”

  • I went to this school and 13 years ago the cafeteria was “redone” meaning they spent a shit ton of money covering up the problems now they have gotten to the point of no return and it’s not just one school it’s all 4 of them. Not fair to the staff and students at all the Ray guy needs to go.

  • Becky Woodman Cafeteria Operations Manager Klamath Trinity Joint Unified School District

    Just so you know Hoopa High was serving BBQ’d chicken for lunch today.

  • Shouldn’t keep spreading gossip/rumors about “Whistleblowing.” Has that been found to be fact in a court of law that in fact Ray fired Moon for whistleblowing? I think not.

  • For decades Ms. Moon has applauded District students for trivial achievements, insignificant feats that indulge young minds yet which devitalize the spirit from venturing into worthwhile conquests.

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