An Indiana student was forcibly removed from a sit-in last Wednesday, after he expressed disappointment in Lake Central High School’s principal for the way he was handling the death of a former student.
According to the Northwest Indiana Times, about 200 students gathered for a sit-in to protest the school’s failure to hold a moment of silence to honor the death of a former student that had committed suicide in another state on March 27.
When principal Robin Tobias walked in to address the crowd, he expressed disappointment in the students.
“And we’re disappointed in you too,” an unidentified student countered.
Moments later, the principal seemed to instruct officers to remove that student. Officers were then seen forcibly dragging the student away from the gathering.
The Times reported that Hunter Ernst, 18, was arrested and taken to Lake County Jail. St. John police chief Fred Frego told the newspaper that Ernst had gotten into an argument with Tobias and was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and possession of a knife on school property.
Frego did not immediately return a request for comment from TheBlaze Monday afternoon.
Tobias, who had accused some students of gathering because they thought the entire thing was “a joke,” sent a letter home to parents Wednesday night.
“While I refer to what took place Wednesday as a sit-in, it was an incident that involved many mixed emotions, including my own,” he wrote, according to the Times. “There is no easy solution when 200 kids decide to create a sit-in within the middle of the school in order to demonstrate a point of view, while making demands. Options could range from yell (and yell louder), make threats, have police arrest them all, suspend them all … etc., all this while trying to reason with emotional teenagers who have defined a personal purpose, but who also need to get back to class.”
“We have always practiced a different protocol of acknowledgment for a suicide death, which involves minimal publicity in order to not glorify the suicide,” the letter continued. “After receiving confirmation from a relative late Monday, an email message was sent to the high school staff informing them of the suicide of a young man who was a former student. The email message I sent to my staff was clear that we would have services in place for students that were identified as in need of a conversation with a counselor. Although all staff were notified, primary focus was on this young man’s former teachers.”
According the principal, the sit-in was “not the right way” to solve the problem. He also said the steps some students are taking to remember the student could be perceived as “suicide glorification.”
“What may have been lost is not the memory of a young man, or the emotions of our students, but the fact that the death was a suicide, and some students in an effort to preserve the memory of this young man are taking steps that other students could interpret as suicide glorification,” he wrote in the letter sent home to parents.
(H/T: Free Thought Project)
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