Students at one New Mexico high school staged a walkout to show support for a teacher who was fired Tuesday morning. They say he is being treated unfairly by administrators.
“I was crying and crying and crying because I didn’t want to believe it,” said senior Zoe Salazar.
“He’s really the heart of the school,” said sophomore Alyana Dominguez.
Dozens of students at Dexter High School walked out in protest Tuesday morning after they say teacher Larry Lopez was fired.
Administrators are not confirming Lopez’ firing, but students claim he was fired for inappropriately helping one of their classmates out of a jam.
“He kept telling us he knew he messed up and that he shouldn’t have done it, but that’s just the kind of person he is. He’s willing to help all of the students here as you see like everyone here supports him,” said Dominguez.
Students say Lopez is a good person who has had a positive impact on their high school experiences.
“He was there for me through everything and it just hurts me to see that him, being the person he is, being there for all of us, that this is happening to him,” said junior Korina Morales.
“He’s the reason why I’m not doing what I was doing last year,” said Salazar. He’s the reason why I come to school too, and I’m trying to do good ‘cause he gave me hope.”
“We’re all human, we all make mistakes, you know. He shouldn’t have been fired. Maybe suspension, but not fired,” said junior David Guajaca.
Students say they were warned by administrators that there would be consequences for their protest, but they still plan to be out there as long as it takes to get results.
“I just hope he’s able to come back, and if not, he still knows what we did for him,” said Salazar.
“We’re going to keep fighting, ’till he gets his job back, ’til we get justice,” said Morales.
Dexter Police were called in to move the kids back onto campus. Police say there have not been any criminal charges filed against Lopez.