|HIGH SCHOOL WALK-OUT, PROTEST A BUST|
|March 17, 2001 12:00 am|
An impromptu crowd-in at the Brookings-Harbor High School cafeteria on Friday to protest closed campus rules was bust.
So was a planned student walk-out at the school on Wednesday.
At 11 a.m. Friday, Principal Floyd Strandberg and Curriculum Director Tim Adsit were standing in the middle of the cafeteria, keeping an eye on things. They had heard about a rumored protest scheduled to take place there that morning.
A student called The Pilot at 11 a.m., letting the newspaper know about the protest and that students were gong to contact the fire marshall.
It seems the students wanted the fire marshal to see the cafeteria had exceeded the maximum occupancy rate, which, in turn, would support the students claim that the cafeteria couldnt possibly hold all the students under closed-campus rules.
Both Strandberg and Adsit said the lunch room wasnt any more crowded than normal. Several students agreed.
This was the second time school officials faced potential student protests this week connected to the phasing in of the schools closed campus policy.
This is the last year that senior class students will be allowed to leave campus at lunch. All students must remain on campus during lunch next year, which has upset some juniors.
A protest by some juniors scheduled for the beginning of school on Wednesday fizzled when nobody walked out.
Strandberg, Adsit and other staff members were standing near the school doors when the first bell for class rang that day.
When the tardy bell rang at 8:14 a.m. most students were in or on their way to class.
However, a group of six students were seen standing across from the school on the corner of Oak Street and Pacific Avenue. It was not known whether they had entered the school yet that morning.
By 8:25 a.m., Strandberg and Adsit, joined by assistant principal Karen Robison, approached the students on the corner and talked with them. After a few minutes the students walked across the street and back to the school.
I gave them a second chance, Strandberg told The Pilot a few minutes later. I told them if they went back to school right now they would not be considered tardy or absent.
Strandberg said he also told the students that their protest had been noticed and the school board will hear their case at the next board meeting.
On Tuesday, Strandberg had cautioned students in extra-curricular activities or leadership positions that if they participated in the walk-out it could affect their attendance record, which in turn may impact their eligibility.
Strandberg said he had heard of the student plans late last week, and had been talking to students one-on-one about how best to handle the issue.