Students Demonstrate To Keep Teachers From Getting ‘Pink Slips’

Posted at 9:16 PM, Jun 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-06 21:16:22-04

MENDON, Mich. (June 6, 2014) – Students in St. Joesph County are speaking out in support of teachers who may be laid off for the next school year at Mendon High and Middle Schools.

The district’s superintendent, Rob Kuhlman, said there is little he can do at this point.  While the rumors started spreading last week, the superintendent said it all comes down to money.

There are pictures circulating twitter under various hashtags including #SaveTheTeachers showing students wearing black t-shirts staging a ‘sit-in’ in Mendon as a way of supporting teachers that could possibly be losing their jobs.

Students in St. Joesph County, like Devon Elkins a sophmore at Meldon High School, said they heard it first hand from the teachers who were already given notice.

“It’s like they are crying so we are crying we are helping them clean up their stuff they are talking about how great it was teaching us and how they are going to miss us,” said Elkins.

Mendon Community Schools Superintendent said it’s not an easy decision but one that had to be made.

“We are planning on reducing three full time staff members we have one other staff member who has voluntarily reduced to half-time,” said Kuhlman.

Who exactly will be losing their jobs are not official according to the Mendon and Centreville combined superintendent.  He said they are middle and high school teachers who teach social studies, business, language arts, and special education.

He said the reason for the layoffs has to has due with budget constraints because of a lack of students.

“We lost 30 students last year and with the projection of declining enrollment for next year it has forced us to make these recommendations to the school board,” said Kuhlman.

The districts will have meetings next week in which the school board will make a final decision.

“These individuals that we are laying off are excellent teachers,” said Kuhlman.  “They coach.  They put their heart and soul into the community and they are great people.”

Several students have contacted FOX 17 and said those who participated in the sit-in received a 2-hour detention.