Student Well-Being

Students Protest Filth, Violence at School

By Liana Loewus — October 08, 2010 1 min read

Students at a New Jersey high school used Facebook to organize a protest of what they call a filthy, unsafe school environment, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

On Oct. 7, students walked out of Newark’s Barringer High School in groups of 10 to 20. Some were held up by security guards at the doors, says the Star-Ledger. Many gathered outside after a fire alarm went off.

Students claim the school is unsanitary and unstructured. According to the paper, a Newark schools spokesperson, “said the district has encountered insect and rodent problems over the years, but the system’s facilities team regularly exterminates and conducts daily and weekly cleanings.” Tyree Thomas, a senior who created one of several Facebook pages about the protest, said he did not have a class schedule until three weeks into the year.

Two weeks prior to the protest, authorities said a 15-year-old student was sexually assaulted in a classroom at Barringer, reports the Star-Ledger. A 17-year-old student has since been arrested in connection with the incident.

“It’s like a jungle,” senior Ashley Martinez told the paper. “The school’s out of control and I don’t feel safe.”

Protesters are also calling for the school’s former principal, who is now at a charter school, to return. The current principal is on medical leave, the Star-Ledger reports.

“We’ve endured this from September 2 until now,” said Thomas. “We’ve waited too long and we’re sick of the violence.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.