By Natalie Zarowny
This morning, with the approval of administrators, students in the Columbus Community School District took over the gymnasium to try to convince the school board to let their favorite teachers to keep their jobs.
"I talked about my strength training teacher, Mr. Carlson, about how he kind of helped me become a good athlete, and how I wanted him to help my younger brother get bigger and stronger like I did," said Mark Ramirez, a Junior at Columbus Secondary.
Students were given one minute each to plead their case.
Earlier this week, the school board approved a major budget reduction package, after falling short $450 thousand last year.
That means lay-offs for thirteen staff members, including seven teachers.
The Columbus Community School District superintendent said the school will still be able to provide quality education, partly due to a steadily declining student population.
She also said despite their efforts, the student sit-in won't save any teacher's jobs.
"Students need a voice. And I felt that it was very important for them to learn how to make their voice heard in a respectful manner," said Superintendent Dr. Marlene Johnston.
Dr. Johnson said which staff is cut will depend on a few different factors, like seniority, certifications, credentials, and curriculum.