Close to 60 students have been suspended from a Hendricks County high school after protesting administrators' handling of a senior prank
Five seniors and one junior at Cascade High School in Clayton were suspended for two days after they posted about 12,000 sticky notes in decorative displays in the school's hallways, windows and floors Monday night.
Superintendent Patrick Spray recommended that a custodian who supervised the students during the prank be fired, although students said it was a board member and parent of one of the suspended students who let them in the building.
"If I were in charge, I would have the seniors clean it up and move on," said senior Anthony Canaday, one of the six students originally suspended. "It was cleaned up the morning of."
Students who were upset with the schools' handling of the incident staged a sit-in protest in the school's gymnasium Wednesday morning, and the protest seemed to gain steam throughout the day, RTV6's Derrik Thomas
"We don't think it is right," said student Chancy Anderson. "They had no reason to suspend the six students and they shouldn't have fired the janitor. It's not right, in my mind."
School officials allowed Wednesday's protest to continue for an hour, but then began suspending students who refused to return to class.
Between 50 and 60 students were suspended.
"Disrupting the school day and causing a disruption during the school day is not justified," Spray said. "It's part of every school's code of conduct, and I believe it's very consistent."
Some of the suspended students and their parents gathered to protest the decision outside the school.
"They didn't hurt anything," said father Flint Anderson. "Oh yeah, (the superintendent was) way out of line."
Kim Rouse, the custodian recommended for termination, said she wasn't expecting this kind of response.
"(I'm) overwhelmed with all the kids' support. That does help me a lot," she said. "I didn't let the kids in. I don't feel I should have been fired."
All of the suspended students will be allowed to return to class Monday and seniors will still be able to take part in graduation ceremonies.
"No damage was caused, but there needs to be a consequence," Spray said. "We don't want to affect their finals. We don't want to affect their graduation. That was the determination for two days instead of an expulsion for the school year, so these seniors could take their finals and move on with their lives."
The custodian's dismissal is pending approval from the school board. A meeting was set for June 13.
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