Rainier Beach students walk out to protest condition of school

SEATTLE — A crowd of Rainier Beach High School students walked out of class Tuesday morning to protest the deteriorating condition of the school and the need for quality academic programs.

A news release about the walkout said every high school in the Seattle Public Schools district received a full renovation except Rainier Beach.

Each high school was placed on a Building Excellence Levy and given over $60 - $120 million  for each project, but Rainier Beach was not selected for the project.

Police estimated the protesting crowd to be between 150 - 200 students during the half-hour march.

Students told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Deborah Horne programs are being cut and enrollment is down so no one seems to care about the school, which is known as being in a bad area.

Enrollment at the school is currently at 407.  The school's capacity is 1,150.

Student Niyah Gonzales said classrooms at the school have not been updated since 1960.

District 5 School Board Director Kay Smith-Blum responded.

"In the Capital Planning process for the BEX IV Capital Levy (2013-2020) the School Board gave Seattle Public Schools staff guidelines to determine which building projects would be included on the final list. Health and Safety, capacity needs throughout the District and building condition were three important criteria in the selection of building projects. RBHS was not selected as a BEX IV capital project, but will be strongly considered for the Buildings, Technology and Academics IV (BTA IV) capital Levy, to be submitted to Seattle voters in 2016. If placed on the BTA IV project list, it possible that Rainier Beach High School would receive major improvements earlier than if it were selected for BEX IV."

The Seattle school board is voting on the levy Wednesday night.