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Douglas County students walk out after school board fires superintendent

As of Monday afternoon, Douglas County School district reported three school teachers resigned since Friday.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — Some Douglas County students walked of class Monday after the school board's conservative majority voted Friday to remove the superintendent.

"I watched the middle and the end," said Asella Straus, a junior at Highlands Ranch High School. "Was not happy with the turnout and the result."

Straus watched the school board meeting on Friday. The board's decision to let Corey Wise go without a reason pushed her to organize a walkout on Monday.

"The students and the teachers and staff have a huge voice when it comes to this, because we make up the school board," Straus said. "The school board is because of us."

At 1:10 p.m. Monday, students across the district left class. Dozens of students at Highlands Ranch High School joined Straus Monday afternoon. Shortly after a long line of students from Cresthill Middle School next door also rallied along Cresthill Lane. 

"Everything that happened with Corey Wise was a little -- everything was unethical the way he was treated," Straus said at the walkout on Monday. 

"He wasn’t given any fairness when it came to it, the majority board we could see clearly didn’t care about the student’s voices, about the community’s voices."

Straus said the goal is to get the school board's attention and try and encourage a recall of the conservative majority school board members that voted to fire Wise. She explained the Highlands Ranch student walk out was 78 minutes long, one minute for each year Wise worked in Douglas County schools multiplied by three, for the three minority board members who tried to keep Wise employed.

DougCo student Kayden Bowyer said she aspires to be a teacher and is frustrated with how the school district is handling the situation. 

"Our voices are constantly at risk of being eliminated and I want to be heard, I want to be known and teachers need to be heard," she said.

The group that represents Douglas County teachers said they're nervous that staff will respond to Friday's vote by quitting.

Kevin DiPasquale, president of the Douglas County Federation, said he's hearing some staff are getting ready to leave. As of Monday afternoon, Douglas County School district reported three school teachers resigned since Friday. The district has more than 3,500 teachers. 

"I would expect there to be an additional 10% to 20% of staff across the board wanting to leave because they don't feel supported," DiPasquale said. "A number of members have begun to put resumes together, because we know the hiring season is right around the corner."

More than 1,000 teachers called out sick on Thursday to make their voices heard. Students will take their turn on Monday. 

School board president Mike Peterson responded to 9NEWS' request for comment Sunday. 

"I recognize this is an emotional time for our community and want you to know I am committed to restoring peace and unity to our school district with a continued focus on educating our children," Peterson said in a statement. 

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