Students protest disciplinary action against teacher

By Crystal Britt - bio | email

IRON COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Is a teacher worth fighting for? Some students at an Iron County school district think so. After their science teacher was put on administrative leave they protested, and were suspended.

The protest began at the start of the school day Thursday. 55 students held a "sit in" in high school science teacher Mr. Savin's classroom at Iron County C-4 Schools in Viburnum.

"It was a peaceful demonstration," said Superintendent Deron Gibbs.

The students demanded answers after their teacher was placed on paid administrative leave after what the superintendent calls an act of insubordination.

"We realized false information had made it into the community that he had been fired, and that sparked a lot of emotion," said Gibbs.

Administrators explained the teacher would be back on Monday. About 10 protestors went back to class, the remaining 46 refused.

"At that point we started calling parents and said moms and dads you need to come get your child," said Gibbs.

Superintendent Deron Gibbs wouldn't elaborate on exactly what happened, but students and parents told Heartland News it was over some type of discussion between the teacher and the high school principal.

"Our principal was never reviewed and our teacher was suspended," said student Kelci Mounce. "When I questioned the superintendent about it he ignored my questions."

Superintendent Gibbs said, "They wanted more information then I was able to give."

Teacher Savin wasn't available for comment Thursday. Students who took part in the protest say he's the best teacher they've ever had.

"He's there whenever we have problems with family or anything, always there for us no matter what," said student Nikki Bozic.

"No one has ever had a problem with him except for the administration," said student Morgan Johnson.

The students say their concerns extend beyond what happened to their favorite teacher.

Parents also came out to show their support.

"To have a voice and to show the kids in the school, and the families of this school that we should matter," said Andrea Dunn.

There is no word yet on what will happen to the teacher.

"We're going to sit down, and bring some closure to this situation," said Superintendent Gibbs.

A meeting is scheduled between Mr. Savin and school administrators on Monday.

Students, who range in grade from Freshman to Senior, who protested Thursday say they will continue to fight for their teacher.

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