Students continue to stand with Bobo-Jones

Small craft used for silent protest


Madeline Welch

MAKING WAVES IN THE MAKERSPACE. Stacks of carved wooden keychain acessories reading “Jones Is Lab” await distribution. Students have used the makerspace to laser-cut the medallions, which have been in increasing demand.

Madeline Welch, Opinion Editor

Standing in the hallway, junior Constantin Carrigan hands hurrying students a small wooden chip. An identical emblem hangs from his own backpack, with the words “Jones is Lab” laser-etched with the U-High crest into the wood. A team of students has worked in the Makerspace for weeks crafting the chips, hoping to celebrate the impact of former science teacher Daniel Bobo-Jones on U-High and to show their support in the fight for his return.

Though Mr. Bobo-Jones was dismissed in January, students and faculty continue to fight against the administrative decision by displaying these engraved chips.

In mid-May, some faculty members began wearing pins with the slogan “Dan is Lab” displayed on them, which had been created and distributed by the Faculty Association.

The Faculty Association’s grievance with the school administration over Mr. Bobo-Jones’ dismissal was denied by Director Charlie Abelmann, but an outside arbitrator will hear the case this summer.

“A number of months have passed since Mr. Jones was fired and the arbitration is coming up — the date is in mid-July — and we really want people to keep this in their consciences,” Jim Catlett, Faculty Association president, said. “This thing has happened to a member of our community, and we shouldn’t forget.”

The team of students — Marcelo Gutierrez-Miranda, Jason Tothy, Cole MacSwain and Kara Xu — were inspired by this and took to crafting their own versions to offer to their classmates.

“There was a feeling among the students that the makerspace could and should make them,” Marcelo said.

Mira Costello
CHIPPING IN. One student proudly displays a woodchip on their backpack. Months after his dismissal, Mr. Bobo-Jones’ case is awaiting arbitration.

The makerspace team began by designing the emblems digitally and laser-cutting them on wood. They initially printed out batches of 24 chips, but with high demand from clubs and students like Constantin, they printed batches of 100. So far, they have handed out nearly 400 wood chips.

Marcelo mentioned that Mr. Bobo-Jones went out of his way to make opportunities for Marcelo to grow as a student.

“Teachers who go beyond their job descriptions to help me, like Mr. Jones, have helped me grow as an artist and as a person,” Marcelo said. “I don’t learn the way everyone else does, so for students like me, teachers like Mr. Jones are crucial for the enjoyment of school.”

The students said they still feel the loss of Mr. Jones’ presence at school daily.

“We are all a team at Lab,” the team said. “We need to work together to create a welcoming environment that supports all students and their learning styles.”