South Sioux City Community School District’s superintendent in a video last week condemned and threatened student demonstrators who recently protested wide-ranging mistreatment in their district.
An April 9 protest of around 100 students outside the Nebraska high school on issues of racial discrimination, religious inequality and LGBTQ treatment in the district was denounced by Superintendent Todd Strom, who said in the April 14 video that disciplinary action would be taken against students or staff who engage in future protests, walkouts or demonstrations. The protesters also called for action on the recent handling of an assistant football coach charged with sexual assault.
Siouxland News reported that about two dozen students protested again on Friday, days after Strom’s video was released, across the street from the high school before marching. They were joined by community members and the metro chapter of the NAACP.
“Also please know that these things are not allowed. Exactly what happened last Friday is not allowed. Protests, walkouts, demonstrations, those are forbidden in schools and on school grounds. Students who engage in any protests, walkouts or demonstrations are subject to disciplinary consequences. We do not want that to happen,” Strom said in the video.
“Any student who fails to abide by the principal’s terms or the directives is subject to disciplinary consequences. We also know that there are students and faculty that are in conformance with board policy and we applaud all of you that follow those avenues.”
Following the protests on April 9, students reportedly faced many of the consequences linked to protesting “on school grounds, disruption to the learning environment and unexcused classroom absences.”
Strom suggested that students visit with a classroom teacher, schedule a meeting with a school counselor or set up a meeting with a building principal if they have concerns.
“I urge you all to finish strong, we have some great events at the end of the year that are coming up, specifically prom and graduation. We want everyone to partake in those and not lose privileges,” he said. “So please adhere and listen to the message that you’ve just received and know that we’re all in this together.”
by Isabella Murray
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