Students protest Alisa Felton’s firing
Students are protesting for a teacher they love.
On Wednesday morning Treasure Mountain International Middle School Students rallied to protest science teacher Alisa Felton’s termination.
The event was organized by ninth grader Andrew Jerome, a ninth-grader and former student of Felton’s.
"I feel that it was really unjust that she got fired," he said.
Felton was fired earlier in the month for missing the first eight days of school to go to the Grand Canyon. She had appealed to the Park City School Board to get leave and was denied twice, but decided to go anyway because the private permit she traveled on is extremely difficult to get.
Students were unhappy at the news she was fired.
"We were outraged," Jerome said. "A lot of the students didn’t really think that was right,"
He estimated that nearly 200 students attended the event.
"The entire student body can make a difference, it’s a lot more effective when everybody else pitches in," he said.
In Felton’s absence he said they have had four substitutes.
"We’ve had just a bunch of substitutes, we do all this busy work and it doesn’t really amount to anything," he said.
Felton could have not only learned from her trip in the Grand Canyon but brought that information back to the students, Jerome said.
"She was fun, she treated us more like a friend than a student," he said. "She taught us like we were responsible."
Assistant Principal Sean Kuennen is sympathetic towards the students.
"She’s a wonderful teacher, and kids are understandably upset they’re not going to have the opportunity to be part of her class," he said.
Principal O’Connor eventually broke up the protest.
"However, they were disruptive to the learning of others so he asked them to disperse," Kuennen said.
Some students sacrificed participation points to be part of it. Those in Steve Macias class docked a portion of their points which can amount to 15 percent of their grade.
"I think it was their choice, but with choices come consequences," Macias said.
Kuennen was pleased to see their participation.
"I think it’s fantastic that they are exercising their voice. I think it’s a shame they were not really given a voice before the process was finished," Kuennen said.
Jerome said the students have plans to attend the next school board meeting.
"We just want to get it out to the rest of the public, why she was fired it was wrong,"
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The Park City Police Department last week received at least two reports involving cases of different natures at construction locations. In one of the cases, the police were told 1,000 construction workers had left vehicles on the street.