The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 16, 2013

School cracks down on students for recent protest

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) — School administrators at a southeast Alabama high school have revoked some privileges for students after they held a brief sit-in to protest the dismissal of about a dozen teachers.

About a dozen students staged a brief sit-in at Northview High School in Dothan during break time, The Dothan Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/17z0cvm ).

Teacher dismissals often happen at the end of a school year, as the school system may choose to non-renew non-tenured teachers.

Northview High School Principal Chris Shaw said the protest was "about as mild and calm as it could possibly be."

Still, the school administration responded to the protest by suspending the student body's break time privileges until the end of the year, or about a week as the school year ends in just a few days.

The decision to discipline the students has angered some parents.

"It's their school, they should have a say in what goes on," said parent Rene Reeves.

Reaves said she was disappointed the school punished the entire student body for the actions of just a few students. Reeves also said she was unhappy the school chose to punish any students for a brief, peaceful protest.

Shaw said the action by students was inappropriate because it disrupted the school schedule.

The principal added that students concerned about the end-of-year dismissals should have voiced their concerns to him instead of staging a protest. Shaw emphasized that the break time was a privilege.

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