Bayonne students walk out to protest 300 layoffs amid budget crisis

Anthony Johnson Image
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Bayonne students walk out to protests 300 layoffs amid budget crisis
Anthony Johnson has more from Bayonne.

BAYONNE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Students from one New Jersey high school walked out of class Thursday to protest the firing of 300 school employees.

The Bayonne Board of Education is cutting 300 jobs amid a budget crisis, and many students said they don't plan to return to class at Bayonne High School after learning that some of their favorite teachers were going to be laid off at the start of the 2017/2018 school year.

The protesters were loud, chanting "Where is our money," upset over the announcement that 300 teachers, coaches, secretaries and bus drivers are losing their jobs due to a massive budget problem that has left the district with a $6 million deficit.

The students came to school ready to take action, many joining the march up to City Hall and back down to the high school.

"I came into the class today, and I saw a teacher crying," one student said. "And it just hit me, she doesn't deserve this. She is a good teacher."

There were reports that some kids were walking on cars, which angered a lot of residents. But most students had two demands: To keep the teachers and to know who is responsible for the budget woes.

"I'm out here because some of the teachers that I'm very close with personally, who have kids and also have this job that they really need, are going to be fired next year, and they don't have anywhere else to go," another student said. "I'm protesting because I like these teachers, and I want them to continue teaching."

Administrators had planned to meet with state officials Thursday to talk about the budget problems, but that meeting has been pushed back until May 8.