7878 Shark Way, Naples, FL
NAPLES — Gulf Coast High School students staged a sit-in after lunch Tuesday to protest the district’s decision to move from giving one grade at the end of the year, to giving one grade at the end of each semester.
Students said they didn’t know about the decision until recently.
District spokeswoman Leanne Zinser said a couple hundred students didn’t go back to class following the school’s lunch period. She said the sit-in lasted about 15 minutes and was “very peaceful.”
Junior Sean Hire, 17, said as students sat in the school courtyard, youth relations deputies told students to move along and walk to class.
Gulf Coast sophomore Connor Garrett, 16, said he was taking photos of the sit-in when he was approached by school dean James Saunders, who confiscated his camera.
“I asked if I could escort the dean to the yearbook adviser to take the camera back, and he said (Principal) Mr. (David) Stump had to see it first,” he said.
Zinser said the camera was confiscated because it was a camera to be used for yearbook purposes, not for taking photos to be disseminated to media outlets.
Zinser said students weren’t punished for participating in the sit-in, unless teachers counted the students tardy to class.
Those protesting didn’t know the district is sending a memo to principals asking that student grades be calculated to benefit each student the most, either by giving the student one grade at the end of the year, or two semester grades.