King College Prep students hold sit-in protest

December 13, 2012 (CHICAGO) published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Students at King College Prep on the South Side walked out of classes and staged a sit-in Thursday.

The students say they are upset over the new principal's policies and a recent firing.

Chicago Public Schools officials say they are listening to the concerns of the students and want to talk about the issues.

Students say the recent removal of a well-liked teacher, along with new, stringent policies, prompted their protest. The sit-in lasted about three hours and ended without a resignation from the principal.

The school day at King College Prep ended differently than it began.

"I think it's a little too late, but it's great," said King College Prep senior Donald Hall.

"So far, we've got no resolution by talking, so we have to show more force," said King College Prep junior Braxton Nunnally.

A good number of the school's 900 students refused to go to class and promised to occupy the building's foyer and gym until their demands were met.

'We are really good students, and for her to come here and enforce all these rules on us, and treat us like we 're stupid, is an insult to us," said King College Prep junior Ayshia Stanley.

The seniors who organized the sit-in say students are angry about the recent firing of a well-liked basketball coach and policy changes by the new principal, Shontae Higginbottom, not allowing students to wait for rides inside the building or re-enter after school is over.

After numerous attempts to contact Higginbottom, the principal made no comment to ABC7, but in a statement, Chicago Public Schools officials who met with students Thursday morning said, "We will ensure that the lines of communication with these students continue to be open as we move forward."

Although that has happened, some parents and others expressed concern about student discontent.

"They have enough to worry about, trying to get here and be educated, we don't need the administration to work against them," said parent Sesalee Moore.

It is unclear how many teachers supported the students' protest or participated in it.

District officials say they promise to listen to the students' concerns until the problems are resolved.

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