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Chicago H.S. Students Face Expulsion Following Peace Sit-in

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Last Thursday, Oct. 1, students at the Morton West High School in Berwyn Illinois held an anti-war peace rally at ten AM. They'd planned it for a few days. About 70 students showed up, the student we interviewed, who asked to be anonymous, told us.

By the end of the day of peaceful, non-violent, courteous protest, around 30 students were suspended, told they would be expelled. One parent of a suspended 16 year old told OpEdNews, that being expelled does disastrous things to a student's life. "There's trouble getting a drivers license, getting into a good college, and they can't finish high school in Illinois. "

We asked about the planning that went into the protest.

The student replied, "There were about three days of planning and we just told some people and whoever showed up showed up. It was all by word."

Here's what the student reported to, how the day proceeded at the school:
Me and a few of my friends decided to have a peace rally from 10:00 to 2:20. We made signs promoting peace out of poster board and notebook paper.

We decided to do it on that day, because it was all saints day and all saints day is a day of peace in other countries.

At 10:00 we sat down together in the lunch room. All the deans were there.

They got all the police. We all locked arms when the police arrived and they were all threatening us. The superintendent wanted us all arrested, but the police didn't do it.

They tried to make compromises with us, to move. So we decided to go to the part of the building where military recruiters are on other days. . They put "caution tape" around us.

In their compromise with us, they said they would let people come by us.

My friend had a peace shirt on, so they tried to pin the role of leadership on him. We all just said that we are there on our own free will. They asked for our Ids. All the deans were picking out people individually and bringing teachers down to identify people. One student didn't give up her ID, but she just left and nothing happened to her.

About 70 students started. Then it got down to about 30, when some got scared.

In the compromise they made with us they said there wouldn't be any consequences if we moved to that sectioni of the building.

We started chanting when they moved us and put up the caution tape and the table barricades.

Once we moved, they wouldn't let us leave, even to go to the washroom. If we walked away, we couldn't come back. But some students would talk to the deans and then go back to the protest and they didn't get in trouble. The deans were trying to get the students with the higher GPAs out. I think those are the students who aren't facing any consequences.

The superintendent's statement, included below, claims that students were asked to move outside, and told that if they did, they would not suffer consequences, but that many of the students refused and ended up, later, moving to a place near the principal's office.

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2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WEEKLY POLL http://www... by Peter S. on Monday, Nov 5, 2007 at 9:34:55 PM
I am so proud of these young people. Everything I&... by paz love on Monday, Nov 5, 2007 at 10:25:22 PM
These kids really are inspiring.  Put the thi... by Mars Caulton on Monday, Nov 5, 2007 at 11:52:12 PM
This matter has been blown way out of proportion b... by Archie on Monday, Nov 5, 2007 at 11:52:28 PM
It is fine that they were protesting. It is absol... by Mad Jayhawk on Monday, Nov 5, 2007 at 11:59:21 PM
I believe this letter writer needs to be verbally ... by Brasch on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 4:33:42 AM
madjayhawkI must differ with your interpretati... by Ivor Hughes on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 1:03:55 AM
Man and Womb Man the two sides of the same coin&nb... by Ivor Hughes on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 2:05:12 AM
This is not only sad for now but certainly for the... by Andris on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 2:03:18 AM
Rob,   Well this takes me back to 1971.&... by davy on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 3:48:43 AM
Maybe if they still taught civics in school, someo... by Sandy Sand on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 6:12:59 AM
The superintendent is the one that should be expel... by kanawah on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 7:34:01 AM
should sue the school for abuse ( not letting kids... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 7:44:25 AM
apparently the parents are involved now. But they ... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 7:49:13 AM
I agree that these students have every right to pr... by iman on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 8:48:25 AM
People rip down my "impeach" signs, but ... by Bob Gormley on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 9:35:35 AM
It is better by far to pay a small price now than ... by Diane Cadonau on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 1:52:27 PM
I think we need to create a vision where students ... by Mark James on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 10:07:04 AM
 Someone has to take the lead, so good for th... by B York on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 1:30:20 PM
See the link below for the Superintendent' s s... by MikaG on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 4:02:05 PM
These children have every right to protest for pea... by Rae on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 4:22:33 PM
I would suggest that all the remaining students in... by Lance L. Landon on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 4:31:43 PM
I was horrified when I read that the school had 34... by Bill Samuel on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 6:33:45 PM
http://www.petition mortonw/Chicago H.... by Mars Caulton on Thursday, Nov 8, 2007 at 9:17:39 PM
 Even after over 60 speakers from the communi... by Mars Caulton on Friday, Nov 9, 2007 at 2:15:06 PM