St. Regis students protest teachers' administrative leave


SAINT REGIS, Mont. - On a Monday afternoon the superintendent of Saint Regis schools, Janet Hanson, brings two students forward to speak with the media about a sit-in protest. The two students are Dallas Lewis and Jeron Jennings, writers for the school newspaper.

The two young men sparked an idea with classmates last Friday after a school concert. That idea formulated into a plan via text and Facebook messages over the weekend.

Many of the students in the school are upset about the recent actions of their superintendent. With just two weeks left in school, over 20 students at St. Regis decided to sit-in on the football field. Their banner reads, 'save our teachers.'

Faculty at St. Regis Schools support the students' demonstration. Even the superintendent says she is happy to see them voice their opinions.

"They're being proactive to show that in a creative way," Hanson says. "I think it's been handled very well by them."

But she still will not tell them, or anybody, why she had to put two teachers on administrative leave on May 10.

"I wouldn't address individual students' query about personnel because that is confidential."

But the students want to see action. They started a suggestion jar to present to Hanson.

Jennings voiced some of the suggestions to the media. "The minimum is at least get our teachers back, because obviously we miss them and nothing is going to get done without them."

Some students want to see more done. "I think sometimes it's been as extreme as asking her to resign."

Hanson plans to speak with students about their concerns, but it doesn't seem as though their demonstration will have much effect.

"We're bound by legal processes to address concerns. And that's all our goal is, to address concerns."

Students who did not join the sit-in say they can't because of academic and athletic requirements. Those who are boycotting classes say they are prepared to stay on the football field all week.

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