SHAWNEE, Kan. -- Monticello Trails Middle School in the De Soto School District is no longer holding their annual Veterans Day tradition of holding a ceremony and school assembly to recognize veterans.
Now one eighth-grader is taking it upon herself to keep the tradition going.
“My grandfather and my uncle are both veterans, and I have a cousin who is serving in the Army right now," 13-year-old Katelyn Kurovski said, "and it's very important to me. The students need to know the significance of veterans because they've done so much for us to keep us safe."
Kurovski found out last month that her school canceled its Veterans Day ceremony, but the school principal says they’ve simply decided to try something new.
“What we've planned this year is the opportunity for our veterans to come in and have lunch with our middle school students, which we felt would provide a meaningful interaction with our students and would allow them to connect with our veterans on a more personal level,” Monticello Trails Principal Melissa Hansen said.
Hansen says there will also be a special video played on the 15th.
But Kurovski says lunch isn't enough.
“We only have 27 minutes in our lunch, and everybody is going to be too focused on eating and trying to finish than paying attention to the veterans,” Kurovski said.
She thinks there should still be an assembly -- something she has shared in a meeting with her principal and vice principal.
“A lot of people don't know the significance about what the veterans have done for us, and I think also the assembly is one way to unify us," Kurovski said. "There's so much division in our country right now."
Kurovski said there are many students and parents who want this assembly to happen, and she said the PTA has offered to help organize.
“Our PTA has volunteered to set up the breakfast and pay for it, and they've also volunteered to organize the entire assembly,” she said.
She made T-shirts and gave them to students Monday to show their support.
The school says it will now hold the Veterans Day assembly every three years, so every student will have an opportunity to be a part of it at least once while at the middle school
There will be a different type of assembly here Friday -- and Kurovski is encouraging everyone to wear the shirts she made in solidarity.