High School students planned to walk out - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

High School students planned to walk out

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May 11, 2007

Americus - - A planned student walkout at a South Georgia high school was headed off by administrators Friday. 

Students at Americus Sumter High wanted to protest what they call overly strict policies. When the principal found out, he got really strict and made it clear to students they'd better stay in class.

Students had it organized to the T.

"It was planned. They sent it in text messages all over the school," says Tiffany Wiseman.

She was going to participate herself until she was stopped at school because of her shoes.

"Isn't it good to have rules in place?" we asked her.

"It is but I think there are boundaries and he should realize that," Wiseman says.

She feels students are quickly suspended for simple violations.

"I have gotten suspended for chewing gum, shirt tail being out, and today for wearing flip flops."

Even parents have something to say. David Melton's son had his cell phone taken away.

"It got taken up at the first of the school year. I was informed that I couldn't receive that cell phone back until the end of this school year," he says.

Some parents don't agree with a dress code the school will implement next year. It prevents high schoolers from wearing blue jeans, except on Fridays.

"They should be able to wear some of the stuff they want to wear, parent Linda Tullis says.

We took their concerns to the principal himself.

"For people who would say your enforcement is too strict or too harsh. What would you say?" we asked.

"I'll say I'm enforcing what's in the policy," Dr. Larry Moore replied.

He feels he's only doing his job. When he heard of the planned walk out, he wrote a letter to faculty telling them to inform students if they participate, they will be suspended for 10 days, wont be able to participate on athletic teams next year and seniors won't be able to attend graduation.

"Its ok to disagree but there's a way that you go about that," Moore says.

Some students and parents are hoping they will be able to work with the principal. 

"We hope they will give some give and take. Were not saying that we don't need discipline but we don't need a boot camp military type of thing," Melton says.

The principal says he doesn't need his students leaving campus until the school bell rings.

This is Dr. Moore's first year as principal at the school. He says some students just aren't used to having the rules enforced. Parents are forming a group to see how they can better work with the school administration.

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