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King College Prep Protest: High School Students Stage Sit-In, Call For Principal's Resignation

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Hundreds of students packed into King College Prep's gym and foyer Thursday in a protest targeting the school's new principal.
Hundreds of students packed into King College Prep's gym and foyer Thursday in a protest targeting the school's new principal.

Hundreds of students at King College Prep High School, a selective enrollment school on Chicago's South Side, on Thursday staged a three-hour sit-in protest calling for their principal to resign.

The students are frustrated by new policies instituted by the school's new principal Shontae Higginbottom including forcing them to wait for rides home from school outside the building and prohibiting their use of school computers after 3:15 p.m. dismissal, according to DNAinfo Chicago.

Higginbottom has also, beginning this fall, blocked students from reentering the school, located at 4445 S. Drexel Blvd., for after-school activities if they've already left the premises following dismissal, students told DNA. Students also say she is to blame in the recent firing of a popular basketball coach, ABC Chicago reports.

And the students have had enough. It took them less than 12 hours to orchestrate the massive walk-out inside the school, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, through social media and word of mouth.

“I want the rules to change,” student Joshua Phillips told the Sun-Times. “And if things can’t change, I guess it’s time for a new principal.”

The sit-in demonstration, which took place inside the school's foyer and gym beginning around 9:40 a.m., lasted about three hours, according to ABC, and involved a large number of the school's 900 students. Higginbottom did not resign Thursday and has declined comment to multiple media outlets.

Many parents also supported the students' actions.

"This school was perfectly fine until they let this lady in," mother Beverly Harris told NBC Chicago. "Now she wants to come here and take everything away? You're going to stop them from leaving the lunchroom to go to study hall?"

A Chicago Public Schools spokesperson told CBS Chicago that they "will ensure that the lines of communication with these students continue to be open as we move forward" beyond the Thursday protest.

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