After top administrators at Lincoln Park High School were removed from their positions and the remainder of the school's varsity boys basketball season suspended amid misconduct allegations, students walked out of class Monday to show support for their administrators and call on Chicago Public Schools to let their team play.
"We worked too hard to come this far just for our season to end," said team captain Romelle Howard.
Students stood outside the school Monday morning holding signs that read "Let them play" and "hear us roar." Others started a petition asking CPS to reconsider their decision. As of Monday morning, the petition had more than 1,500 signatures.
In a letter sent to parents last week, CPS Chief of Network Laura LeMone said the district removed Interim Principal John Thuet and Assistant Principal Michelle Brumfield from their positions.
LeMone cited the severity of the unspecified allegations in suspending the season for the basketball team. Boys Basketball Coach Donovan Robinson and Dean John Johnson were reassigned pending the outcome of an investigation.
"I know that this is difficult news for the school community, but please know that we would have not taken these actions if we did not believe they were necessary to promote the safe and supportive educational environment your children deserve," LeMone said in the letter to parents.
Several students voiced their support for Brumfield and Thuet.
"[Brumfield] was the first administrator I’ve heard in a long time actually celebrate the students and listen to us," said Junior Nadia Latta.
Signs that read "We trust Thuet" and "student voices matter" could be seen in the crowd gathered outside the school.
"The Lincoln Park situation is a very challenging situation for everybody involved," CPS CEO Janice Jackson said at an unrelated event Monday.
Judith Gibbs and Jerryelyn Jones have been appointed as administrators-in-charge, the school district said.
CPS plans to discuss the new leadership and transition plan at a 6 p.m. meeting Monday night with parents and families.
"We will talk about the leadership changes," Jackson said. "I don't want to give up too many details because I think the parents should hear from us first."