Students and parents protest superintendent’s actions at CJI school
By PAUL OVERLIE
Liberty County Times
Students and parents staged a low-key demonstration at CJI schools Tuesday morning in response to the suspension of a senior in the school on Monday. The senior was suspended by Superintendent Kaiser for a comment he made. Said comment was heard only by those close to him as he said it quietly.
But that isn’t where the story begins. It appears, as has been done for years, this senior filled out a questionnaire for his senior spotlight in the school newspaper. One question has long been “What will you miss the least when you leave CJI High School?” His answer was “The Administration”.
From there versions of the story seem to differ. However, one thing all agree on is that a teacher in one of this senior student’s classes repeatedly pushed on him over that particular issue until he got upset. That is when the comment referred to above was uttered.
The student involved has not talked to the Times so a first hand account of what exactly was said is not available.
The teacher did not hear what was said either. However a classmate did hear it, but did not report it nor was that student forthcoming with the utterance when first questioned. Eventually the statement was revealed and the senior student was sent to the Superintendent’s office and suspended. Not only suspended but the local Sheriff’s office was called to have him escorted from the school.
Further information revealed that the this senior student was allowed to leave the school, or in this case escorted off school grounds, without the parents first being notified of the suspension and that the student was leaving the school. This is a direct violation of the policy as outlined in school handbook.
A large number of the students in the school were outraged by the whole incident and around 20 of them decided to take action. They walked out of their first period class and held a quiet and orderly sit down protest in the hallway leading from the high school to the multi-purpose room. The students were supported by a group of more than 30 parents and residents that gathered outside the school while the protest was going on.
Getting an exact count on all those involved was impossible as people came, left, came back and other were in and out as well. At one point a head count revealed 32 people outside the school (not including law enforcement and school board members) and 17 students in the hallway.
Parents were not allowed in the school, unless it was to get their kids out. Disciplinary action against the students who participated in the sit-in was being discussed.
Board members also promised an emergency meeting will be held to discuss and take possible action, on both the protest and the actions that led up to it. By press time no such meeting had been convened.Posted: by OverlieP