Hundreds of high school students ditch school to protest state budget cuts

Dec 14, 2011

Hundreds of high school students are rallying at the University of Washington in protest of cuts to education. They walked out of their classrooms this afternoon and marched or rode buses to the University District. 

Students from at least five high schools, including Ingraham and Nathan Hale - and even a few students from Tacoma - have banded together for the protest. 

Katie Kennedy, a senior at Ballard High School, says the demonstration is necessary to raise awareness of what’s happening to education:

“A lot of our textbooks are outdated," she says. "We’ve had a lot of student teachers let go in the past couple of years.  And, also, Ballard isn’t affected as greatly as other schools. I want to support every student in Washington. It’s not just for me, it’s for everyone.”

She says students want voters to consider raising taxes to close budget gaps instead of cutting education. 

Students organized the rally themselves using Facebook and are Tweeting at #seattlewalkout as events happen

School district response

Seattle Public School officials issued a statement saying while they "certainly appreciate our students’ involvement and interest in the state’s current funding issues," they "need students in class every hour of the school day to ensure their academic success."

Discipline will be left up to the principal’s discretion. According to the SPS Student Athletic Handbook, it is against the rules for students to walkout of school:

A student must be in attendance at school or at an authorized school activity for all scheduled classes on the day of an event/meet in order to be eligible to compete or practice. Exceptions may be granted by the principal, or his/her designee, but illness is not an acceptable excuse.