Middle schoolers walk out to protest teacher leaving

Middle schoolers walk out to protest teacher leaving (KION)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Students at Astor K-8 school in Portland staged a protest Wednesday against the relocation of one of their teachers.

The 7th and 8th grade students walked out of class around 12:30 Wednesday. According to one of the protesters, math teacher Chris Pokorny is being moved to another school due to budget cuts and they aren’t happy about it.

The protesters marched outside the school chanting “students have rights too” until the end of the school day at 2:30.

“It’s important to me he doesn’t move because PPS has put us through so much,” 8th grader Kenya Watson told KOIN. “Last year, the 8th graders, we didn’t have a teacher and this year Mr. Pokorny kind of gave us the hope that our education was going to stick somewhat.”

This is Pokorny’s first year teaching at Astor but in his 6 weeks there so far, students and parents say he has been great for the kids.

“Mr. Pokorny has been a positive change. Very challenging to the kids,” said parent Darrell Grenz. “This is a big thing for them. I’m proud of the kids for protesting the right way and wanting more for their education. It’s very frustrating as a parent.”

Grenz says he understands the need to cut staff, but still asked the school district to make an exception in this case.

The students have been told the Common Core math teacher will be taking over the compacted math classes previously taught by Pokorny starting next Monday.

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