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Holt Students Protest At Sit-In Following School Board Decision

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Photo courtesy of Trevtrev_199, Twitter Photo courtesy of Trevtrev_199, Twitter

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It may be the week before exams, but several Holt students put together their own lesson plan for the school district.

"Freshman need to be separated, it's easier, kids come here because of that, families want to be here because of that and they're just changing that," Dominique Martinez said.

Dominique Martinez is among the student body that planted themselves inside the school commons Tuesday instead of the classroom.

Nobody here is going to take no for an answer, if they're not going to listen, we tried going to the board meetings and doing it the easy way, we are going to do it the hard way and make them listen," said Hailey Mass.

It's a message that Principal Michael Willard and Superintendent Dr. Johnny Scott heard loud and clear.

"They'd had just come and wanted a chance to speak their mind, a time of opportunity to get their questions answered," said Principal Michael Willard.

"They didn't want to leave the high school and move to the 9th grade building, I felt that was the overarching message I heard

and that I thought was very beneficial," Superintendent Dr. Johnny Scott said.

A police presence was clearly noticeable around and inside campus, more than normal,

but Principal Willard says thing settled after roughly 2 hours of protest and talking with him and the superintendent.

"The students willing went back to class, it wasn't an issue whatsoever."

Principal Willard views the demonstration as students looking for an opportunity to speak.

"They wanted someone to talk to, they wanted someone to speak their mind," Willard said.

A lesson that the principal and district got schooled in Tuesday.

Superintendent Scott says he'll be available along with the school board president Thursday

for a special meeting after school to address any questions students may still have.

Principal Michael Willard told 6 News Reporter Nick Perreault the sit-in wrapped up after a few hours and students willingly went back to class.

Superintendent Dr. Scott along with School Board President, Dr. Malentinski will be available to talk with students after school Thursday.

Principal Willard says stay tuned to their reinventing Holt school website (https://sites.google.com/site/holtprincipal/home) for more information and answers to common questions.

HOLT, Mich. (WLNS) - Students at Holt Schools are not going to class Tuesday morning after a strongly debated meeting Monday night.

About 150 students gathered in the commons area of the high school early Tuesday morning, refused to leave and demanded answers.

This came about 12 hours after school board members voted to restructure the district, planning to separate 12th graders from the rest of the students.

At first things stayed pretty calm, until students started yelling, "Stop the Switch!" as administration asked them to head to class. Students requested to speak to the president of the school board and Superintendent Johnny Scott, but they were disappointed by a lack of concrete answers. Students say the switch will break-up their Holt community.

"For one we're seniors and we're supposed to be the leaders of our school and we can't be leaders from across the street..Plus our parents pay for this school with their tax money and we don't even get to go here?" said Hailey Maas, Junior, Holt High School.

"Right now the big concern is going across the street as seniors so they're now meeting with Dr. Malentinski and Dr. Scott in there. Hopefully they get some answers," said Michael Willard, Principal, Holt High School.

Holt students tweeted pictures throughout the morning and left comments on the WLNS-TV Facebook page. Students say the school threatened to suspend anyone who didn't go back to class. Principal Michael Willard told our Nick Perreault students were not suspended, despite the sit-in technically being equivalent to a tardy. 

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Stay with 6 News as we follow this story both on-air and online.

More from 6 News: Outrage Erupts After Holt Board Votes to Restructure District

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