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Class Trip Cancelled After Eighth-Grade Sit-In To Protest Verdict

May 7, 1992

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) _ Eighth-graders who staged a peaceful sit-in to protest the Rodney King verdict will forfeit their class trip to an amusement park, their principal said.

All but 20 of Palm Harbor Middle School’s 400 eighth-graders held a 10- minute sit-in at the end of lunch period Friday. They trickled back to class when Principal Scotty East and teachers began calling individual names.

″I’ve never had kids pull something like that,″ East said Tuesday. ″I was shocked, to be honest with you.″

School district officials said East had no choice but to cancel the May 16 trip to Busch Gardens.

″We cannot, in the climate of the ’90s, tolerate group demonstrations at school,″ said Nancy Zambito, director of school operations.

Several parents said the punishment was too severe.

″I really don’t think they did anything that wrong,″ said Carol Stride, whose 13-year-old son, Andrew, is an eighth-grader at Palm Harbor. ″They disobeyed, yes. But to be punished this severely is wrong.″

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