Student Protest

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A local middle school is being divided, literally, into two groups. Administrators say it will cut down on behavior problems, but many students say it's an injustice they can do without.

There are two things different about this group of middle schoolers; they are all boys and most of them are wearing white shirts. That's their protest.

Thursday administrators at Everitt Middle School separated boys and girls on different sides of the courtyard. They say it's a safety issue.

Everitt Middle School Principal Linda Landen says, "Kids are running and chasing each other in a confined area and it's created a safety problem."

But students say separation isn't the answer. When the new policy was announced on Wednesday they started petitions and organized the white shirt protest. However, on Friday when the kids showed up for school, so did their parents.

Lynn Duff says, "This isn't right. It's the only time they have to socialize all day."

While the rumors ran rampant around campus about suspensions and punishments for the protesters, most teachers and parents looked on this organized effort as an opportunity to educate.

Duffy says, "We talked about how to protest effectively."

Landen says, "This is definitely a teaching moment and our teachers are taking advantage.

For now the students will remain separated, but administrators are meeting with focus groups from each grade to discuss other options, but with students still creating mosh pits and playing chase the smaller split up crowds will most likely remain.

Around 800 students hang out in front of Everitt Middle School before the first bell rings every day.