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FHS students stage sit-down; issue resolved

Cool heads have prevailed and what began as a rebellion of 39 or 40 students at the Farmington High School has been resolved in a quiet meeting between students, parents and administrators.

Although the school and its officials are bound by law not to discuss the details of disciplinary action against students and an attorney for the group of students and their parents is bound by legal ethics not to discuss the situation, the Farmington Press has pieced this story together.

Apparently and according to one source who asked to remain unidentified, the group of students who travel regularly to the Lead Belt Area Vocational Technical School from the high school became so disenchanted with the school’s restriction of their activities that on Friday, January 4, they refused to board the bus which transports them.

The situation ended with the 39 or 40 being suspended from classes for one-and-one-half days.

Students the Press spoke with, all of whom will remain nameless, told slightly different stories of the situation, but agreed that they had been allowed only a 20-minute lunch period.

The students claim they had to eat, put their books up and be ready to leave on the bus in that time between 10:45 and 11:05 each day.

In addition, those students were allowed to visit the restrooms at the school only before eating, not after.

United with only a few exceptions in their dislike for the regulations, the students reportedly rebelled and were later suspended for their actions.

Parents upset with the turn of events hired an attorney to represent them and met with members of the school’s administration Monday night.

At that meeting, according to Superintendent Dr. Lee Orth, the problem, “was resolved.” Orth said there would be a “loosening of the restrictions which were there originally because of the problems which had occurred.

“The students agreed to police themselves,” Orth added, while at no time naming which group of students he was referring to.

The group apparently convinced school officials they could behave in an adult manner and will appoint a six-member advisory board to meet with school officials to improve communications between the two factions.

The attorney for the parents, Ken Pratte, said, “Things were reasonably resolved, it was a good reasonable discussion and things were worked out.”

The students will allegedly be allowed back into classes with the time missed marked up to excused absences.

(This story originally appeared in the Jan. 10, 1980 issue of The Farmington Press.)

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