Waterloo High School students have gathered together to hold a peaceful protest outside of their high school.
It began this morning, with students holding signs chanting “If she ain’t fired, we ain’t tired” and “What do we want? Change! When do we want it? Now!”
All this comes following the alleged comments of a Waterloo School District staff member, Dixie Lemmon, who is accused of telling students if they’re feeling suicidal, they should eat a cookie and they will feel better.
Angelicia Smith, the mother of Giovanni Bourne, has rallied with current and former Waterloo School District students and parents to hear their stories about bullying and mistreatment coming from the school district.
Over the summer Smith’s daughter found Giovanni’s body following his suicide. She has been fighting bullying ever since, but she was fighting it long before that too.
Smith was present as students gathered in front of the school to protest the resignation of the staff member and demand change for themselves.
Throughout the protest Smith can be heard helping the young students protest peacefully, stay on topic, and not become violent, especially when police arrived.
Police stationed themselves at each entrance forcing news stations to remain off the school property when interviewing Smith and students.
Community members could be seen delivering food and drinks to students outside the school, and Smith stated the school would not let them eat.
At one point people in the footage could be heard saying Superintendent Terri Bavis came outside to say students were protesting for “no reason” because the staff member was not present that day.
Students have also been told they could face marked absences, lose scholarships, lose their ability to play sports and face possible suspension for their peaceful protest. One commenter on Smith’s video stated they will not be allowed to attend BOCES classes.
Smith stated that she will be contacting the New York State Board of Education on behalf of the students to fight any punishment they may be facing for protesting.
Footage and Facebook posts from Angelicia Smith:
This story will be updated as it unfolds.