Students Warned of Suspension

The Providence Journal, page 1 – May 6, 1970

Providence high school students left classes in the middle of the day to join a protest downtown against US intervention in Cambodia.

Groups of students from Classical and Central High Schools met with the superintendent to discuss their plans to demonstrate and the potential consequences. The school district leader’s response was:

“The issue is that the public school system is here to provide education and that means to be in school.”

He went on to say:

“We will no longer accept student walkouts. Any student who leaves the schools will be suspended for a minimum of two weeks and, after that time, will not be allowed to return unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.”

When spreading the word about the demonstration, student leaders reminded their peers of the looming threat of suspension if they did participate in the walkout so everyone was aware of the possible repercussions.

177 Classical students signed petitions showing their support of the walkout.

One student representative said:

“We feel war is wrong. We have a moral hate for war. We feel that the protest of the war in Cambodia and Vietnam is more important than the two weeks of zeroes we would get from being suspended.”

The student leaders discussed their plans for the walkout and the potential consequences with an attorney from the RI affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union.


Girl awaits decision on expulsion for protest

The Providence Journal, page C1 – May 13, 1982

The Tiverton superintendent decided to close a girls’ lavatory at Tiverton High School after allegedly coming across cigarette butts and empty beer bottles in the space.

In response, a group of girls stormed the boys’ lavatory to protest the closing of their own. The students involved were faced with suspension as punishment for their disorderly conduct.

These student leaders also circulated a petition that got over 283 signatures to share with the School Committee, but were unable to present it at the closed meeting.