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Knoxville students warned to stop disruptive protests

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Students who continue to protest the decision not to renew a teacher’s contract could now face disciplinary action.

Students and some parents have demonstrated at Knoxville Junior High School and at a recent school board meeting after the board decided not to renew the contract for math teacher Michelle Nelson.

Knoxville Schools Superintendent Steve Wilder said school officials using the decision as a teachable moment and that school officials would respect differing opinions as long as they were expressed “in a way that is going to be peaceful and not disrupt the environment” of the school.

A statement posted Thursday, March 21, 2013 on the district website said students who continue to protest at the school could face disciplinary action.

“We have every hope that we can avoid disciplinary actions and we are asking for your support and cooperation to maintain an orderly school environment for our students. Any help from adults within our community to avoid disruptions is greatly appreciated,” said the statement from Wilder.

Wilder’s statement said some parents and students complained that the disruption caused by the protests were negatively impacting them.

The statement said any action or communications inside or outside the school that “result in disruption of the school environment” would be subject to disciplinary action which could range from a verbal warning to detention to suspension from school.

Read the full statement – click here –> Knoxville Schools 3-21-13 statement regarding student protests