BIRMINGHAM, Al (WIAT) — Intimidated by officers and school board members. That’s what Ramsay High School students say kept them from protesting today. The teens had planned another walkout to protest the transfer of their principal Evelyn Nettles. But students say they were forced to stay on campus instead.
“They had us in the lunch room like animals,” said Ramsay senior Tatiana Turner. “They wouldn’t let us walk. Every time you walked to the door to even let somebody in they standing there. They’re blocking the doors. They’re not locked but they’re blocking them.”
“We were supposed to have a rally today to march out of school and walk around the block,” claims senior RJ McIntyre. “But we had several police officers and several members of the board come and shut all of that down.”
The protest was in response to removal of their principal Dr. Evelyn Nettles. but students say today the school threatened them if they left campus again.
“Over announcements it was stated that if we walk out of the school then we will be suspended for the remainder of the school year,” claims one junior. “Which means seniors would not be able to take finals nor graduate and the underclassmen would not be able to take their finals.”
Parents were also notified of the consequences for students who participated in todays protest by a Robo call this morning. It said
The students at Ramsay High School are planning a student walk out today, May 16th 2014. Please encourage your child to remain in school and attend all of their classes. Academic achievement is very important and we are in need of your support. This action may be subject to suspension for the rest of the school year. Seniors will be subject to suspension and they will not be able to attend their graduation. We cannot have a walk out to disrupt the educational environment. Student achievement is our number one priority so please encourage your child not to participate in the walk out activity that is planned for today.
Many parents were livid.
“And because they practice their first amendment right to to be heard,” said mother Bridget Davis Young, “and to have an opportunity to fight for a cause, that they’re not going to be given an opportunity to walk across a stage!”
However Superintendent Craig Witherspoon says todays action at school was about keeping students safe and on campus.
“We understand the emotion and things that happened earlier,” said Witherspoon. “But at this point we wanted to have some conversation. We wanted to talk and make sure that students carried themselves in the appropriate manner.”
According to the schools code of conduct obtained by WIAT 42 NEWS, attendance cannot be used for the basis of suspension. And Superintendent Witherspoon said today that Ramsay closely follows the Code of Conduct.
Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 NEWS