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DENVER – After hearing the media wasn’t allowed inside Denver Public Schools during the first day of the strike, Joe McComb and other student journalists at Thomas Jefferson High School decided to be the eyes and ears of the community.

“People have the right to hear and see the truth,” McComb said. “Seeing for a lot of people is believing.”

They spent parts of their day scurrying from class to class, getting a pulse of what was happening, snapping photos of a packed auditorium, and students playing board and video games in front of substitute teachers.

“Upperclassman were stuck in the auditorium for 45 minutes to an hour not doing anything,” said Erin Maloof.

Maloof described the halls towards the beginning of the day as “total chaos.” The group shared different stories about how their subs ultimately gave up trying to command attention in the classroom.

McComb said the worksheets passed out by DPS employees and subs didn’t pertain to what they were learning in class, and were too general.

“School really was a joke today,” McComb said. “Teachers took attendance and after that a lot of students, especially seniors just walked right out the doors.”

Members of the TJ Journal, the school newspaper, went from classroom to classroom counting heads.

They got a head count and asked teachers how many students were supposed to be in the class, how many showed up, and how many stuck around after lunch. Those numbers can be found below.