Tylertown students walk out of classes protesting end of religious based program

Updated: Sep. 11, 2019 at 6:48 PM CDT
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TYLERTOWN, Miss. (WLBT) - No classes Wednesday for some Walthall County students as they sent a message to school district leaders.

Tylertown students are protesting the end of a program they say allows them to worship together. But according to district officials, the program is not being targeted.

Students have the support of parents and volunteers who brought them sandwiches and water during the protest.

They chanted while refusing to go to classes on the Tylertown campuses after finding out that the Priority One program was ending.

Priority One is a student led organization that meets monthly during school hours and includes prayer, speakers, singing and other faith based activities.

“When I got to school, I just went there and protested because I feel like we deserve to have First Priority in school because children these days need God,” said Tylertown High School senior Aaliyah Lewis.

“This will be my sixth year going to the high school,” said Tylertown High senior Kaitlynn Brown. “Well, we’ve had First Priority every year, and I just love seeing all of us come together and basically share the gospel with each other.”.

Carla Brown (no relation to Kaitlynn Brown) has two grandchildren attending the high school.

She believes in what the students are doing and said everybody doesn’t go to church and that this school program may be the only way they find Christ.

"I come to support them. They're try to take First Priority from them. They've had it now for 15 years, and I support them."

Students said they will not return to classes until the program is reinstated.

Walthall County Schools Superintendent Wade Carney said the district's policy does not permit...
Walthall County Schools Superintendent Wade Carney said the district's policy does not permit the meeting of student led organization's during instruction time. This applies to all organizations. Source: WLBT(wlbt)

Walthall County Schools superintendent Wade Carney said district policy states student led organizations can not meet during instruction time. They can continue to meet before or after school.

He said this policy applies to all student organizations not just First Priority.

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