SAYRE, Pa. (18 NEWS) – Last week rumors began to fly about the Sayre Area School District cutting a number of programs.
Programs potentially on the chopping block include art, music, home economics and foreign languages. The Sayre Education Union Facebook page said that could mean furloughing a quarter of their teachers. That prompted many students to take action by staging a sit-in.
Protestors said everyone who chose to take part was marked absent. They also faced detention or suspension if they left the auditorium to go to the bathroom or get lunch.
“They kicked me out before I got to (eat lunch) because I went to the bathroom and they wouldn’t let me back into the auditorium,” freshman Nick Park said. “So they said it’s either go back (to class), get written up or just leave school. And I’m not going to get written up just for going to the bathroom.”
Eventually all students left the auditorium to march around campus with their signs.
Many protesters and community members said that cutting these programs will only hurt students in the long run.
“Not all schools have electives and we have them so that we can learn skills that are going to help us in the outside world,” Park said.
“Family consumer science which is like home-economics, when they’re cutting that they’re also like cutting our futures because they teach us how to cook, they teach us how to take care of children,” sophomore Olivia Rumsey said.
“Most of the things that I use today like I work at the grill after school are skills I’ve learned from those classes with my life now,” junior Brianna Reynolds said.
“The arts in a lot of the school districts in our area they’re starting to do away with them and I’m thinking why are you letting the most important programs go?” former teacher Glenda Otten said. “So no, I would be totally against that.”
Students said they’re heartbroken knowing they may have to say goodbye to some of the most important people in their lives.
“To these teachers we’re their children and to us they’re like the secondary parents and they just want to take care of us and let us learn,” Rumsey said.
Calls to the district for comment were not immediately returned.
A school board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday night in the high school auditorium.