Mount Clemens high school students protesting non-contract renewal of principal

Loud chants and bright signs? The smell of a protest is in the air.

"Our principal got fired for no reason," said Dazari Chestang.

Chestang is a freshman at Mount Clemens high school. Joined with dozens of classmates, he and several other students are upset over the non-contract renewal of their current principal, Joseph Gibson.

The decision was made Tuesday night.

"He's done so much for all of us individually and us as a community," Chestang said. "We all love him and that's why we have the whole school out here."

The decision to not renew Gibson's contract was finalized after a six to one vote by the school board. It came after he allegedly allowed a student to teach a math class. The school's superintendent said Wednesday that the decision is a personnel matter and is not up for debate.

Despite the controversy, she also said she's pleased with how the whole incident has played out.

"They've been orderly and haven't been outlandish, so we're allowing them to express their freedom of speech," said Teresa Davis. 

Even after being shut down, the students are still holding out hope that a change of heart will lead to a change in contract.

"Mr. Gibson was a very personable principal, he was very close with a lot of students," said Angel Delich, a junior.

Not only was he a charismatic official, but students were pleased with his school's integration into more extra-curricular activities.

"We have more school pride," said Jacob Williams, a senior. "I notice we have more activities; we were more involved. Mr. Gibson has been nothing but beneficial to all of us."

A petition to keep Gibson had gained 183 signatures in just over three hours.