Tolman HS students told to return

The Providence Journal, page B1 – May 15, 1974

400 students from Tolman High School in Pawtucket went on strike against a proposal the restructure the class schedule for the coming year. It would go from seven 40-minute periods a day to six 53-minute classes. Students raised concerns about how this new extended schedule would affect seniors trying to complete additional course credits and students intending to work after school hours.

The strike, which was planned over the course of a week-and-a-half, resulted in an absence of about 43% of the student body.


The principal threatened to suspend the students involved, but the assistant superintendent was going to speak with him about letting the students off with a warning.


The student leaders of the strike encouraged their peers to return to classes following the demonstration.


Featured Image: 1974 Tolman High School Yearbook, Cover


300 high school students walk out, are suspended in N. Providence

The Providence Journal, p. A5 – April 5th 1986

Seniors at North Providence spent a week organizing a one-day boycott of classes to protest school conditions and policies. The day of the demonstration, someone unexpectedly pulled the fire alarm, and everyone vacated the school. Only 250 students returned to class. The rest remained outside to prove their point. The students’ grievances were expressed during a meeting they held with school administrators before staging this protest. 

The student protesters expressed concerns about the following:

  • Elimination of early dismissal for seniors with a final period as a study hall.
  • Restroom conditions
  • Heating issues
  • Cafeteria overcrowding
  • Elimination of a student smoking room/prohibition of smoking on school property
  • The 18-Day Attendance Rule – the North Providence School Committee reduced the maximum amount of days students can be absent and still graduate from 40 to 18.


The youth involved were suspended and could only return to school once accompanied by a parent.

200 striking students are urged to return to school on Monday

The Providence Journal – May 18, 1974

Around 250 students (about 40% of the student body) at Pawtucket West High School staged a strike over changes to next year’s class schedule.


The demonstration served its purpose of getting the assistant superintendent for secondary education to meet with several student leaders, so strikers were encouraged to return to classes. The superintendent also met with students from Tolman High School, who similarly were protesting schedule changes happening across the district.

Some parents allowed their kids to stay home from school in support of their planned protest. 


The Pawtucket West principal said he would not punish the students that participated in the strike, but he would consider taking disciplinary action if the demonstrations continued.


Featured Image: 1974 Pawtucket West Yearbook, page 5