Monday, February 28, 2011

UPDATED: Video and Pictures of Idaho Student Walkouts

Posted By and on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Rumors that students have walked out of school this morning in protest of proposed education reforms were confirmed by Dan Hollar, spokesman for Boise School District.

According to Hollar, 100 to 150 kids walked out at Borah High School about 8:30 a.m. Hollar said it's his understanding that those students have been asked to return to class. The Idaho Statesman reported about 100 students from Meridian High School and another 150 from Nampa High School also walked out.

Island Park News reported that American Falls high school senior Madai Montes manages a Facebook group called Students Against Luna's Change in Education, which called for statewide student walk-outs today.

Citydesk will have updates as the story progresses.

UPDATE: From The Spokesman-Review: "About 100 Boise High School students are now gathered in the second-floor rotunda of the state capitol, where they're quietly doing their homework."

UPDATE: From Idaho Education Association President Sherri Wood the walk-outs:

The IEA first learned of the walkouts when local media outlets began reporting them earlier today. While we’re sure that many Idaho educators appreciate the show of support from their students, the IEA had absolutely no involvement in organizing the protests. As we’ve seen for seven weeks now, Idahoans have repeatedly voiced opposition to the Luna plan. The students’ actions today show that they’ve read the Constitution and absorbed its lessons about a government of, by, and for the people.

Given the Senate’s votes last week to pass two of the three Luna bills, students—and many adults—feel they haven’t been heard. It’s no surprise that they’re now acting on their First Amendment rights to speak out and peacefully assemble in an effort to stop the legislation that would hurt them, their siblings and their teachers.

UPDATE: By George Prentice
Tom Luna, who wants to press for more online learning in Idaho classrooms, is getting a bit of a lesson himself on social media today. Fueled by Twitter and Facebook, hundreds of Idaho high school and middle school students walked out of class today in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Pocatello and Idaho Falls, protesting the Luna's plans to reform classrooms.

Citydesk received a video from Borah High school student Brehnan Jones showing more than 100 of his classmates participating in a walkout at approximately 8:30 a.m.

[ Video is no longer available. ]

Nearly 200 students from Boise and Meridian high schools moved their protest to the Capitol at noon.


Luna, Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction, has proposed gutting collective bargaining and limiting tenure for Idaho public school teachers. The most controversial plank of his platform would see the elimination of nearly 1,000 teaching positions, an increase in class size and a requirement for online learning.

The State Senate Education Committee takes up the debate on class size on Tuesday.

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