Reedsport students: 'We want to learn from people, not computers'

REEDSPORT, Ore. -- Typically, when some people see a bunch of kids sitting outside during school, you would think they didn't want to go to class.

But students at Reedsport Community Charter School were actually protesting for their education on Wednesday.

Because of a lack of funding, the school might have to go to teach A-P courses and electives online.

Taking teachers out and putting computers in brought out most of the seventh through twelve graders to protest.

They say they are protesting to keep teachers in the classroom. "They just give me someone to go talk to or you can go after class if you don't understand, or if you're kinda shy you can get one on one time," said Reedsport sophomore Sierra King. "You can't do that with a computer."

Many parents, teachers and even the superintendent, Jim Thomas, support the protest. "We're acting out of necessity, not out of desire," he said. "Nobody can argue that it's not better to have a classroom teacher in the classroom teaching students."

Thomas hopes the kids' protest will make a difference. "The fact that they're protesting, I think in a way that's a good thing, because this thing should be going on statewide."

The protest doesn't come without some consequences. Each student that was out is being marked absent, but King says it's the price they'll pay to make a difference. "I hope that the State of Oregon actually hears us," she said. "I hope that they'll try to give us more money so that we don't have to fire the teachers and go to this."

This new system hasn't been adopted yet, and Thomas says they will discuss the matter Wednesday night at a budget committee meeting.