Katy ISD: 'The grace period is over'

Students at Morton Ranch High School formed a peace symbol with their shoes during their protest over teacher firings

April 15, 2011 1:14:22 PM PDT
Frustrated with the school district budget cuts that have cost hundreds of teachers their jobs, students in Katy ISD once again marched out of class in protest. The students are reportedly planning to take their message to the district's headquarters later today. Students as young as 11 years old were out of class protesting Friday. Protests occurred on at least half a dozen campuses, high schools and middle schools. Students at Morton Ranch High School were on lockdown for a short amount of time as students became disruptive as they tried to return to class.

For the second day in a row, Katy ISD students, high school age, and even middle school students, were out protesting the hundreds of teachers laid off in their school district. We asked the students not just about their cause, but their methods, leaving class in the middle of the school day.

"Not everyone agrees with our method," said Taylor High School student Ivan Ovalle. "But it gets people here, it gets people listening. There's people talking and it gets people to know what's going on. Not everyone is here for the same reason. Some people are just here to skip school. But we hope that most of the people are here for a good cause."

When kids didn't show up to class, some parents tell us they got a phone call to come get their kids from outside. Some simply stayed nearby to keep a watchful eye, while others, like a father of a Memorial Parkway Junior High School student, showed up to pick up his daughter, after she, like so many of her classmates, left campus, walking to join the older students at Taylor High School.

Parent Fred Mills said, "I think it's a good cause, but I think the kids are actually fighting the people that they're trying to help, really. I can see what the kids want to do. I'm upset. My wife's a teacher here at Taylor. We don't know if something's going to happen with her job or what."

Emotions are running high as students see teachers that they truly love and appreciate being laid off from their jobs.

Katy ISD is on early release today. District officials are preparing as rumors are flying that some students and possibly parents may arrive at Katy ISD headquarters to continue the protest.

On Thursday district officials said they were treating the protest as a learning experience and didn't plan to discipline the students. Today, they said, "The grace period is over." Officials could begin citing students for disruptions on campus as early as this afternoon.

If you captured any video or photos of the protests, please email them to news@abc13.com or upload them on our iWitness Reports page.

Load Comments