Students at Washington Middle School walked out of class to protest budget cuts

VIDEO: Students at Washington Middle School walked out of class to protest budget cuts

SEATTLE — Students at Washington Middle School walked out of class in protest Thursday, saying their education is being impacted by recent budget cuts.

The protest came after they received a letter from the principal this week about some major changes for the second semester, including some arts and music classes being cut.

“There were music classes taken away along with French and Japanese language classes,” said eigth-grader Max Sommers.

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Sommers also said there were some mistakes in scheduling and some teachers being switched around to teach different classes.

“Middle school is a prep for high school and if we don’t have consistency for teachers, that’s not a way to learn and grow,” Sommers said.

A number of parents also showed up at the protest, upset that the principal is not being responsive to their concerns and not communicating with families effectively.

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“A lot of parents have tried to reach out,” said Arlene Fairfield, who has a seventh-grader at Washington Middle School. “We sent multiple emails to the administration and Seattle Public Schools and 90 percent have not received responses.”

The principal did not talk with KIRO 7 but we did reach out to the Seattle School District. The spokesperson told us there were recent budget cuts at the school due to Washington Middle losing about 500 students in the last few years.

The principal’s letter to families said that because of the "the reduction in school size ... teachers, particularly those teaching electives, changes at semester should be expected."

“I see this as a district’s problem,” said Cliff Meyer, a parent and co-president of the PTSA or Parent Teacher Student Association. “The district is treating Washington Middle School unfairly and not providing us with the resources we need."

The next PTSA’s meeting is happening and eigth-grader Kaitie Start hopes the principal will be there.

“If she’s not listening to us before I hope if it’s on the news or it gets out there, somehow she will listen to us,” Start said.