New protest planned after student march leads to suspensions

HAZELWOOD, MO (KTVI)-Nearly two dozen students from Hazelwood West High School met Wednesday morning (May 17) to protest the suspensions of nearly 200 of their classmates after they walked out of school in support of teachers earlier in the week.

On Monday (May 15), students walked out of the classroom in a peaceful protest over the school board's reluctance to negotiate a new contract with the teachers' union.

Students said they were given five-day suspensions on Tuesday (May 16). For approximately 11 seniors, the suspension means they won't be able to walk in the school's graduation ceremony on Saturday. At least one senior said he also lost a two-year scholarship to community college as a result of the school's punishment.

In a written statement, the school district stated an automated voice message was sent Sunday (May 14) reminding parents of the consequences students may face for violating district policy.

A school board meeting Tuesday was packed with people upset about the district's punishment. Parents at the meeting said they planned to file a lawsuit against the school Wednesday.

The teachers union voted "under protest" to approve a tentative contract deal with the school district.