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Fri May 14, 2010
Students walk out at Hope High
By Elisabeth Harrison
Providence, R.I. – Students from Hope High School in Providence marched across the city yesterday to protest changes that take effect in September. They claim the district is dismantling reforms that have helped turnaround a once troubled school.
"I don't know about you, but my relationship to Hope is simple: before I came to Hope I didn't care about school," says 16-year old Julio Diaz, who adds Hope High School is a place where students get to know their teachers and take extra classes in art and music.
He believes that's due to a unique schedule with longer class periods.
"You don't get this at other schools," he says. "You don't get the feeling that we get at Hope sometimes - it might sound a bit cheesy. But here at Hope you actually are getting educated, you're getting help on weak points, all these points that you need to succeed in life."
Five years ago, state officials ordered an overhaul at Hope, which was known as one of the worst schools in Providence. Now local officials say the program is too expensive, and they believe they can save money without compromising improvements at the school.
Diaz and roughly 200 other students walked out of class and headed to City Hall to show they disagree.