VIROQUA, Wisconsin (WXOW)- Viroqua high school students walked out in protest of Governor Scott Walker's proposed budget, which would affect their teachers' and city employees' pension and benefits.
The rally started with a Facebook page encouraging students to walk out statewide in support of teachers and city and state employees. A few students in Viroqua started texting, messaging, and spreading the idea of a walk out the next morning. One of student organizers, Luke Cleiber, says that "if teachers are willing to stand by us when we need them, we as students need to stand by teachers when they need us."
At 9:00 a.m, students walked out of class and congregated on school grounds, then marched around school property voicing their opinion against the proposed budget. The rally moved to the Vernon County Courthouse, where a speech summarizing the students' view on the budget was read. The Viroqua police department escorted the students' protest down Main Street. A few business owners and city employees in favor of the students' views joined in the protest while on Main Street. By 11:00, the students returned to class.
In response to the walkout, Viroqua district administrator Robert Kandle said that while staff would have preferred a normal school day, he thought that the walk out is a learning opportunity for the students, and was glad they were orderly and stayed safe.
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