About 70 Woodrow Wilson High School students walked out of the building and streamed onto the football field today to protest the loss of their free lunch period, part of Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee's new security plan aimed at quelling violence at the Northwest Washington campus.
Responding to the recent arrest of 13 students for fighting, Rhee halted the policy allowing students to go anywhere on campus for lunch and ordered students to eat boxed meals in their classrooms. The change went into effect today, the students' first day back after spring break.
During the second-period lunch around noon, dozens of students left the building from a rear entrance and assembled peacefully on the football field. About 30 minutes later, the students began returning to the building.
The walkout was among several ways students expressed their dissatisfaction with the security policy. Other students wore black armbands and promoted an alternative to Rhee's proposal.
"I was angry at the actions the chancellor has taken," said senior Lena Solow, 18, who was not part of the walkout. Solow was among several students who submitted a proposal to Rhee urging her to establish their Wilson Peace Initiative, which calls for groups of students and teachers to patrol the halls and report fights to security guards. Solow and her organizing efforts were reported last week on DC Wire by Post reporter Theola Labbe'.
"A big part of what we're opposing is not the measures, but how they're doing it," Solow added. "They're not consulting parents, students or teachers."