MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The suspensions are over, but the debate continues at Leflore Magnet High School. Nearly 100 students were sent home Monday, March 25, for uniform violations.
Thursday, March 28, a small group protested the punishments, but others are backing the principal's decision.
The protest was put together by Fighting For Our Children's Education or FORCE, local pastors and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Tamesha Jones is one of the 97 students that returned to school today after two days at home. All 97 were suspended for uniform violations. She told the group this was her first suspension.
"My favorite subject in school is in science. My mom always tell me to do my best in school. I make good grades and attend all my classes every day, and I do not cause any trouble," said Jones.
Jadine Johnson with the SPLC said it is shocking Jones and the others were suspended for these infractions.
"These students were not fighting; they were not suspended for fighting not suspended for drugs or weapon. These 97 students were suspended for not wearing the right clothes," said Johnson.
The group wanted to send the school system a message.
"We urge the district to reassess its uniform policy and to implement alternatives to suspensions that actually work," said Johnson.
The group said it is all about discipline but not taking children out of the classroom for minor infractions.
"They don't need to be at home or in the streets during school hours or when their parents are not at home. They need to be in school where they belong. I worry that," said LaShonda Jones, Tameeka's mother.
A few feet away folks were standing in support of Leflore Principal Alvin Dailey.
"Yes, we would rather them be in the classroom. But if he sent 90 home and several hundred were here, those hundred were here and they were able to follow the rules. They were able to do what was expected of them then why couldn't the 90 comply?" said parent Simone Moore.
Mobile County Public School teacher and parent Tilley Warmack said this is a life lesson children need to learn.
"If I have a job, and my job tells me I can't come to work in a mini skirt and high heels, I got to comply with what my boss tell me to do. And by now, fourth quarter, you complaining about it. Something is not right," said Warmack.
The Mobile County School System said they stand behind Principal Dailey's decision.
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