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Seattle Area High School Students Walk Out Of Class To Protest Education Cuts (PHOTOS)

Seattle Student Walkout

First Posted: 12/16/11 01:01 PM ET Updated: 12/16/11 01:09 PM ET

Hundreds of students from five Seattle-area high schools walked out of classes Wednesday to protest Washington state's cuts to education funding.

The students convened at the University of Washington, chanting phrases like, "We're the future of our nation, no more cuts to education," The Seattle Times reports.

The state Senate passed Wednesday a measure that would cut about $480 million from education, health care and social services in an effort to close a statewide $2 billion budget gap.

But the student protest sought to raise awareness of Washington state's deteriorating education system, Katie Kennedy, a senior at Ballard High School told KPLU. She suggests raising taxes versus making cuts to education.

"A lot of our textbooks are outdated," she said. "We've had a lot of student teachers let go in the past couple of years. And, also, Ballard isn't affected as greatly as other schools. I want to support every student in Washington. It's not just for me, it's for everyone."

Still, walking out of class might not go without consequence. According to a statement from Seattle school administrators:

"We certainly appreciate our students’ involvement and interest in the state's current funding issues, especially K-12 funding. We are proud of our civic-minded students. However, we encourage our students to stay in class… Discipline is up to the principal’s discretion. Typically, absences are excused with parent/guardian permission."

Wednesday's protest marks the second time this fall that Seattle students have walked out of class to protest cuts to education. Garfield High School students walked out of their classes last month after the state proposed a special legislative session to determine those cuts. In a piece in The Seattle Times, two Garfield students subsequently explained their concerns about state cuts to schools.

Washington is just one of a throng of states faced with massive budget gaps and seeking relief through deep cuts to education and other services.

States like Texas and California are looking at losses in the billions from school funding, resulting in educator layoffs, larger class sizes and slashes to education programs.

See photos from Seattle's Wednesday high school walkout below, courtesy of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.


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Filed by Emmeline Zhao  |