Students face consequences after walking out of school

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HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. -- Cell phone video shows the moment around 150 students walked out of class at Central High School in Helena-West Helena Thursday.

"A lot of kids was acting crazy yesterday, man."

Some held signs, but all appeared peaceful as they walked in support of an almost $10 million tax increase to replace their aging school.

"There was some that said little things, but it wasn`t to the point where it got rude and disruptive."

Cynethia Stephens-Otis' daughter took part in the walkout. Friday morning, she was at a closed-door meeting with fellow parents, where she was told her daughter and other students will have to perform two hours of community service as punishment for walking out.

"They were out of class about 30 minutes, and so we`ve multiplied that times four, that`s two hours. We think that that`s an appropriate punishment," said Andrew Bagley.

Stephens-Otis said she supports building the new school, and said the students had a right to sound off about it.

"The kids need a voice. they just want to be heard."

Even if she, and the school superintendent, think they could have gone about it another way.

"The reason we`re doing this is because we`re doing it for our children to have a better education. I think when they walk out of (the) classroom, it puts that in jeopardy," said John Hoy.

Voters will cast their ballots for or against the measure on Tuesday.

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