Middle school students take up immigration
Mar. 31, 2006
About 900 to 1,000 Tucson middle school students and another 300 high school
students walked out of classes Friday as demonstrations opposing tougher
legislation against illegal immigrants continued here for a third straight day.
But Tucson Unified School District officials also instituted a so-called "hard
lockdown" at several of the schools where students had walked out _ meaning that
remaining students will stay in their classrooms, with campus perimeters also
Officials held open the possibility of placing more schools under lockdown,
depending on reports of student activity.
They also said that there would be disciplinary consequences for students now
leaving classrooms without permission.
The lockdown was imposed because of continuing concern over student safety and
neighborhood reaction to students roaming the streets during school hours,
spokeswoman Karen Gallagher said.
Tucson Police spokesman Sgt. Decio Hopffer said there had been no incidents or
arrests, though some exuberant middle school students were walking in the
streets and being less disciplined than high school students have been the
previous two days.
"We're seeing more middle school kids out here today," Hopffer said.
Police escorted student groups to Rodeo Park on the city's southwest side and to
City Hall, "to make sure that the kids cross the streets in a safe manner, and
that they are able to exercise their First Amendment rights," Hopffer said.
Students obstructing traffic or failing to heed police warnings could be cited
for traffic violations or disturbance, with their parents subject to fines of up
to $250, Gallagher said.
Students across Arizona have staged walkouts all week to protest against
proposed laws and to show their support of immigrants.