DETROIT (WJBK) - Police clash with students and demonstrators outside the East English Academy in Detroit as teens walked out of class, protesting a long list of problems plaguing the school district.
This is just the latest in a string of protests by students and teachers at schools all over the city but this is the first time things have gotten heated.
A large number of the student body at East English Village Prep Academy walked out of school on Wednesday. The students were doing so in support of teachers who have been protesting conditions at Detroit Public Schools for several weeks.
The students were marching down Harper around noon Wednesday when suddenly, chaos erupted.
One activist from the group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) was maced in the eyes and cried out for help. He got some tissues and water started wiping it off.
Two men, both activists from BAMN, and a female teacher from East English Village were all under arrest.
The students said it was a peaceful protest until police arrived.
"They pulled up on us. They kept yelling 'get out, move, get out, go back to school, take your asses back to school'," said Erica Power who added that she was also hit with mace. "They came up on us.
"They started macing our teachers, they maced me and it was just all chaos."
"If anything what they should have been doing is supporting the kids. They should have been behind the kids making sure they don't get hit. If you don't know the situation what's going on in the schools in Detroit, you don't need to be a police officer," one witness, who asked not to be named, said.
DPS says the adults were in the street and weren't cooperating; they said police had no choice but to arrest them. For those watching, the measures seemed extreme.
"I saw one of the officers mace one of the guys and he was screaming they maced me I didn't do anything wrong'," Simon Dedvukaj recorded the incident.
"They were just walking down the street. They didn't even tell them to move on the sidewalk. They were doing nothing wrong."
The students say they have the right to protest and won't let police interfere with their message.
We need to support our teachers," Kaley Jennings said. "We know they can't keep doing sickouts. We need smaller class sizes, more materials, better schools. We're just basically trying to get the Snyder plan, out."