Students protest firing of teacher at West Side High School in Newark

Students at West Side High School in Newark

Students at West Side High School in Newark staged a protest Wednesday after a popular teacher was fired, and school officials say it got out of hand. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

NEWARK - Students at West Side High School in Newark staged a protest Wednesday after a popular teacher was fired, and school officials say it got out of hand.

A school spokesperson says students were yelling and banging on doors in the hall. Security officers followed protocol, calling in Newark police to assist.  

Students say they had to stand up for what they felt was right. "He's our coach.  He's a part of the discipline team," says Dashonnah Gittens. "And everyone has respect for him. Students are just tired of losing their teachers to nonsense."

A school official says administrators met with each grade after things calmed down to explain the situation and hear their concerns. "We are working with students to make sure they are safe and are back in classrooms," says Vanessa Rodriguez, of Newark Public Schools.

The school board is now calling for an investigation into how students were treated during the protest. "We want to make sure our children are not being harassed," says board member Rashon Hasan.

Officials will not say why the teacher was fired, only that it was a personnel matter. 

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