AURORA | More than 100 Hinkley High School students took to the streets Monday to protest the potential layoffs of a group of more than 10 teachers.
What started as a sit-in by about 30 students in Hinkley’s hallways early Monday morning grew into larger demonstration across the street, after administrators from the high school suspended the students for the day. A crowd of more than 100 students stood on the sidewalk on the west side of Chambers Road, waving signs bearing slogans like “Honk for Education” and chanting, “Save our teachers.” A small number of parents also joined the protest.
The students initially faced suspension for their protest, but the Aurora Public Schools district released a statement later in the day that nullified the earlier suspensions. The students assembled outside of Hinkley claimed that their off-campus passes had been revoked before they left the school. They also said administrators had suggested they could be barred from their prom at the end of the year.
“APS is investigating concerns that a few Hinkley staff members may have advised students to demonstrate,” district officials said in a statement. “As a result, after discussion and deliberation with Superintendent (John) Barry and the APS Leadership Team, we are reversing these students’ suspensions, which will not be included in their permanent records.”
Students said planning for the event started about three weeks ago on Facebook, following rumors that teachers from physical education, history and other departments in the school were facing termination at the end of the year due to budget cuts. District officials refused to release personnel information, but students said certain teachers were being targeted for “performance” issues.