Hundreds of students walk out of Chattooga High in protest of 5-day school week
Hundreds of students walked out of Chattooga High School Thursday afternoon following an on-going debate over changing from a four-day week to a five-day week.
“We’re hoping that they see that we’re not just a bunch of kids who want to stay out of school for another day but that we have reasons behind this,“ 9th grader Cole Calvin told Channel 3.
Trailing out one behind the other with parents in full support, students stood in solidarity against a decision they feel they had no input in before it was made.
“We’re doing the walk out to really express concerns of the new school board not really taking into consideration our concerns or our parent’s concerns,” senior Caleb Veitch said.
Students could be seen holding signs and heard singing their Alma mater while parents cheered them on from outside the gates.
“If you could look at that and not be proud, then I don’t know what that says for you because this is our democracy in action,” parent Angela Veitch said.
The decision to go from a four-day week to a five-day week is one some students worry may impact their chances of taking college courses through the school’s dual enrollment program.
“You get to take three college classes which will count toward your credits. It’ll go toward you getting those classes out of the way while you’re still in high school,” Cavin explained.
He's one of many students hoping to take courses next year at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Others fear employment opportunities may be at stake with the schedule change.
“Lots of kids work on Monday. Monday is the only day I could work because I’m a two-sport athlete,” student Allie Mitchell told Channel 3.
For five minutes, they stood on the school’s football field. It was the same amount of time they’d be given to speak individually during a board meeting.
“We had other students try to speak at the board meetings and it was in one ear and out the other with them,” Cavin recalled.
This time, they’re hoping their actions will speak louder than words.
Students did return to class once they were told to by school administrators.
Sheriff Mark Schrader was present during the staged "walk-out" to monitor the event and ensure it ran smoothly. He told Channel 3 he was notified two days ago by a school resource officer.
We’ve reached out to all five school board members for comment but have not heard from back from any of them as of yet.
A school board meeting was scheduled to take place Thursday night.
More than a dozen students and parents are expected to speak at the meeting.