Students skip class in protest: Will they be disciplined?

Students skip class in protest: Will they be disciplined?

CREATED Jan 24, 2012

Reporter: Corinne Hautala

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) --   What will happen to the students who skipped class in protest of the ethnic studies ban?  Will TUSD discipline the students? Or since it was in protest is there an exception to the rule? 

9OYS started by making calls to the office of The Tucson Unified School District.  The district’s spokesperson referred us to Abel Morado, the principal of Tucson High School.

Morado spoke to KGUN9 on behalf of the entire school district.  On Feb 1, Morado will become the Assistant Superintendent of High Schools, so the district asked that we speak with him.

In Morado’s conference room, he explained to 9OYS that the students that walked out of class in protest on Monday will be punished.  He said their absence from class is unexcused, even with a parent’s note.

“Given the fact that this was a protest they were involved in doesn't change the fact that they are subject to disciplinary consequences,” said Morado.  “Given the fact they left without permission.”

Morado explained Tucson High and the other school’s involved have a closed campus, which restricts students from leaving.  He said that is why these students will be punished.

When asked if the punishment will be the same for the students protesting as any other student ditching class, Morado said, “Correct.”

Their punishment ranges from lunch detention to in-school suspension, depending on each student’s individual attendance record.

Morado said an above average of students missed school on Tuesday.  Those students, he, explained have 48 hours to explain why they were absent.  If they were absent out of protest, Morado said it will be unexcused.

Law enforcement can detain truants.  However, Morado said generally it is a matter handled between the school and parents.

Tucson Police said it doesn’t have the man power to handle truants.  In the recent, student walk-outs, it said since the students weren’t doing anything illegal on the streets it decided not to interfere with their First Amendment Right.