School sets mandatory meeting for suspended students who protested

Dozens of students suspended from Detroit Communication and Media Arts High School for taking part in walk-out protests.

But these kids are refusing to back down. They marched the streets again Wednesday, this time taking a stand against their punishment - and demanding change district-wide.

More chants outside CMA, this time a small turnout. More than a dozen people including students, protesting for change in Detroit Public Schools.

The suspensions were reduced from five days to one day. But when parents dropped off their kids at school this morning they got a big surprise.

Now parents and students will have to attend a meeting at CMA Wednesday night at 7 for the kids to get back in the classroom.

Class president Jalon Nelson is one of the 80 students who were suspended for taking part in the walkout and protest on Monday outside the school.

"No other school was suspended for this," he said. "We're standing up for our teachers, we're standing up for ourselves, and in a way, we're being pushed back down for standing up."

Nelson's grandmother says a mandatory meeting is a backwards approach.

"I'm not sure if (the principal) is trying to elaborate to the parents the importance of them walking out and everything," said Shelta Riley. "Because if you are suspended and then you go back to school, why do you need to have a meeting."

Students sent FOX 2 pictures of mold inside CMA and showed some of their text books that are in bad shape.

Student Jenice Burton said that her mother went to Detroit Cooley High School in the 1970s and 80s.

"We are using books from then," Burton said. "My mother's name is in one of my books."

Burton is a senior at CMA and she believes in change, but she doesn't agree with the demonstration on Wednesday.

"I don't support teenagers walking up and down the street talking about 'h no' and all of this type of stuff," she said. "I don't support that at all."

FOX 2 put in a call to the CMA principal and the spokesperson for DPS, but have not heard back.

FOX 2 also spoke to the mother Jenice Burton off camera and she gave a different perspective. She believes there needs to be more parents out protesting for change in DPS.

She said although this issue has a direct impact on the students in Detroit every day, they are still kids and it shouldn't be their fight to take on yet.

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