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Muncie Central students back at school after conflict over class project

School scheduled eLearning days Tuesday-Thursday
Poster at Muncie Central High
Posted at 7:13 AM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 15:45:55-05

MUNCIE — Friday marks the return of in-person learning for students at Muncie Central High School.

Students had eLearning days Tuesday-Thursday as Muncie Community Schools made a plan to address issues that arose over a class assignment.

Some students protested Monday after posters for a project were moved from the hallway to the classroom. Miyumi Ixcuna took part and helped lead the protest.

"We just want an apology, the posters put back up, have an outlet for the student voices to be heard, and for (school resource officers) in the future to be more diverse and have cultural sensitivity training," Ixcuna said.

The project was based off the graphic novel "V for Vendetta." Students were meant to bring attention to real-world problems that related to the book.

Ixcuna said posters focused on an array of topics like LGBTQ+ issues and the right to have an abortion. However, only some specific ones were questioned, she said.

"They only cared about the Black Lives Matter poster. They didn't care about the other ones just specifically the Black Lives Matter posters," Ixcuna said.

The poster deemed offensive by some features a drawing of a police officer depicted in "V for Vendetta" with the names of people who have been killed by law enforcement.

Video shared online shows school resource officers crowded around the posters, making comments and ultimately, engaging with students and the teacher over it. The teacher, who shared a Facebook post about the situation, said that conversation was a productive one.

As students head back to school, Ixcuna said she and others plan to continue protesting for what they feel is right.

She said student protest is protected citing a Supreme Court precedent that dates back to the Vietnam War when students chose to wear black arm bands to protest.

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"We are protected and do not lose our First Amendments when we step on the school property," she said. "We just want to make a change and if nothing is going to be done. we won't stop protesting."

Muncie Community Schools did not respond to our questions for more details on the situation.

However, students noted that school leaders mentioned Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita's official opinion from last week which said Black Lives Matter should be considered a political organization.

The opinion says school corporations should consider that displaying some politically based materials, while prohibiting the display of others, could violate the First Amendment.