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Students at Santa Ynez Valley High School walkout over administration

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, Calif. – Dozens of students at Santa Ynez High School walked out of school Wednesday morning in protest of their administration.

"I’m here because I think we as students deserve a better administration more committed to protecting students and making them feel more seen, safe, and heard," said student Vera Sieck of Santa Ynez High School.

Students said they are upset because last month, the school allowed students to temporarily paint speed bumps in rainbow colors for an anti-hate campaign.

But the school painted over the speed bumps before the campaign was over.

"Our project to paint the crosswalks rainbow for the week was cut short without our knowledge and I feel it was a failure on the administration's part to protect our freedom of free speech that we as students have," said Sieck.

"It makes it difficult for me as an lgbtq ia student to feel safe at my own high school. And I should feel safe and welcome here," said student Ash Hicks of Santa Ynez High School.

Following the protest, Santa Ynez Valley High School principal Michael Niehoff released a statement via email, saying in part:

“My goal as principal is to create an environment that builds trusting and connected relationships between students, staff and parents.”

Both students and parents at the protest said they not only want their voices to be heard, but they also want to see change.

"So it’s my intention to be here to support the students they aren’t heard. And one thing specifically was the rainbow speed bumps that were removed," said parent Lisa Baker of Santa Ynez Valley.

"Our hope is all kids will feel safe, supported, and respected at this high school," said president Sue Turnercray of Parent Teacher Student Association.

"I’m here in support of students who have been singled out for just being themselves," said parent Robert Craig of Santa Ynez Valley.

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.

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Lily Dallow

Lily is the Digital Content Director at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Lily, click here.


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