DPS students walk out in protest, many hit with suspensions

Students protesting on Monday were handed five-day suspensions.

Administrators threatened to suspend anyone who participated in the protests, but the kids stood their ground and emptied the halls anyway.

They say did it to get the state's attention and support their teachers.

Students spilled onto the street as Communication and Media Arts high schoolers walked out, standing up for their teachers - and their education despite a five-day suspension handed down by principal Donya Odom.

"I got suspended for five days for an American right," said Tarik Jackson. "That's ridiculous."

FOX 2: "All of you decided it was worth it?"

"Yes," said Jalon Nelson. "Because we deserve books, we deserve money, we deserve better education and we're not getting it and  if you're going to stop us from standing up for our rights - we're going to go. Because Dr. King would have done the same thing."

Jalon Nelson is senior class president  and he couldn't even show FOX 2 one of his outdated books because there aren't enough to go around.

"The textbooks can only stay in class and they expect us to take pictures of it to use while we're at home," Nelson said. "It's unacceptable - we deserve better - it's time for a change."

Over at Renaissance High School, students also staged a walkout. This protest was joined by parents.

"I'm supporting my student in supporting our teachers," said parent Lynette Rice-Bennett.

"They do it out of love for the children and that's why we're out here to raise awareness that we support them in anything they do," said parent Sarah Welborn.

At Cass Tech another walkout over the same concerns for all students at other schools, some dealing with health and safety violations.

"This is about Detroit Public Schools," said Jonae Maxey. "We are speaking for people that cannot speak for themselves - like the elementary students and the middle school as well. We're all their voices,  we are one - and this is we - the students."

The students are standing with their teachers.

"We fully support them and we support the decisions they're making," said Paris Morgan.

Sadly back at CMA - that conviction has been met with suspension. Teens that have been taught King, civil disobedience and standing up for what's right  are now punished for doing so.

FOX 2 tried to speak to the school principal about these suspensions - she told me she was not available but as you can see - they called the police.

"Five day suspension for standing up for our teachers and for ourselves," said Nelson.

"They had a sick out for us so they're trying to fight for our rights as well so we're out here supporting our teachers," said Whitney Crenshaw.

"The DPS teachers who have been doing sickouts have been villianized," said Tarious Porter. "But we're here to say that if anybody is villainized it's the district and the emergency manager who threw away all our resources and now we're out here because we have a voice."

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