According to school officials, most of the students went back to classes about A few left the school.
The students had gathered in the high school auditorium for the first part of the morning and listened to remarks from teachers, student leaders and Principal Robert J. Herzog concerning the non-renewals.
According to school officials, the sit-in had been orderly and there had been no incidents. More than 200 posters and signs had been placed in the high school. building calling for support of the teachers and participation in the sit-in, they said.
Herzog said he discussed the situation with students this morning and answered questions. He had expected the students to return to classes today, he said.
Herzog and Superintendent Eugene Baits meet with five or six different student groups Wednesday to explain the district's position and answer questions
Most teachers did report to classrooms Wednesday, and some students attended classes, but the educational process was shut down for the most part, according to school officials.
Students in the auditorium played some records and cheered in support of the teachers when a television camera crew entered the gymnasium. Wednesday afternoon a number of students paraded through the building.
Three and one-half of the teaching positions involve high school faculty members' and a third-grade teacher.
"They are all good, solid teachers," Herzog said, "but because of the seniority and certification system, they have been the ones named for non-renewal."
Balts, in commenting on the situation, said district enrollments have been declining. The administration had recommended, and the school board unanimously adopted, non-renewal for four teachers and changing another position to half-time, Baits said.
"We have been experiencing a considerable drop in enrollment the same as other districts," Baits said. "When we have more students we add teachers, when we have less, we have to cut some."
Three years ago, he said, the high school had 1,157 students; it now has 141 less.
The sit-in apparently was fueled by action at a school board meeting Monday. About 350 parents and students attended the meeting, which was moved from the administration building to the high school to accommodate the crowd.
Bob West, executive director of Northwest United Educators, the union representing the teachers, said many parents and some students expressed
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preference at Monday’s meeting for an improved teacher-pupil ratio in the school district, which could be accomplished by not reducing staff.
Sometime Monday night or early Tuesday
morning, a shotgun blast shattered the window in the elementary coordinator’s
office at the
No one was in the building at the time.
Police Chief Emmett Engestrom said he had no information linking the shooting with the meeting. He said that although few leads are available, the department is continuing the investigation.
Sound Off . . .
Protests Board Action
I am writing this message to The Chronotype in the hope that you, the people who comprise this community, will read this and take appropriate action.
Mr. Tinker has taught and coached in our community for five years. He is an exceptional individual, excelling in both the classroom and in the coaching field. He represents the type of an individual that a community should strive to obtain. He is the type of an individual that any parent would be honored to have his son or daughter associate with.
To allow an educator of Greg Tinker's ability to be forced out of our school system because of "internal politics" is an absolute crime, while at the same time allowing the school administrators to take home large salaries and produce nothing for our children's futures.
I'd say its
about time the people of