In response to proposed immediate teacher lay-offs and budget cuts, parents of Denair High School students created a Facebook page to encourage students to walk out of their classes early Thursday morning.
The walk out never materialized; however, a few protestors planted themselves near the student drop-off point where local parents and children could read signs supporting a change in leadership as they entered and exited the facility.
According to one protestor and Denair High graduate Billy Myers, the walk out was hampered by students' fears of administrative punishment.
“There was going to be a walk out planned, but the school decided that if any students were absent, they were going to punish them with detention and an unexcused absence; so the students are staying in school,” he said.
Denair Superintendent Ed Parraz said that he knew about the planned walk out, but would not comment on what actions would have been taken on student participants. Parraz said he was outside the high school Thursday morning to ensure student safety.
“While the kids are here, they are on our watch, so we just wanted to make sure they are okay, cause it is right there with traffic and everything else. So anyway, it turned out that it didn’t happen,” Parraz said.
Parraz said he hoped that parents, teachers, and students upset about the recent revelations about the district's budget problems would not jump to negative conclusions about the school board’s decisions on Thursday night.
As part of the recovery plan, the school board is deciphering the best course of action to take for this year’s budget crisis, Parraz added.
“With the County Office of Education and the fiscal advisor that we have, we are putting together a recovery plan to just get the district back on a healthy budget. Again, we just don’t know all the final details. We just know right now we have to do something to work this out for this year, then our multi-year projection. We are doing everything we can to fix it,” Parraz stated.