LAKELAND, Fla — 15 students were arrested Monday during protests at Kathleen High School against administration leaders.
12 of the students were charged with disruption of school function and resisting an officer without violence. One student was charged with disruption of school function, resisting an officer without violence, providing a false name to law enforcement and possession of a weapon on campus. The other two students were charged with affray.
The Lakeland Ledger reports several dozens of students called for the termination of principal Daraford Jones in response to how he is running the school.
One student who spoke with the outlet, Brianna Charles, said that classroom doors are locked when the bell rings, preventing others from entering. She was concerned about what could happen in the event of a shooting.
She added others are upset over changes to staffing, the dress code and student dances.
Jones became principal earlier this year following the death of Johnnie Jackson.
District spokesperson Kyle Kennedy said those arrested "were causing a disruption that interfered with the school's ability to operate."
"This morning a demonstration took place just outside the entrance of the Kathleen High campus. The demonstration involved students who were voicing concerns and complaints about the school’s administration. PCPS staff and law enforcement responded, and were on scene to ensure the safety of all involved," Kennedy said in a statement, in part. "We are working with all KHS stakeholders to address their concerns. The campus is secure and classes are continuing as normal today.
"Although this morning’s demonstration was largely peaceful, some students were arrested for causing a disruption that interfered with the school’s ability to operate."