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Published: Wednesday, 11/20/2002

Teen activists face Saturday school sit-in

LIMA, Ohio - Twenty-one Perry High students who took part in a protest over use of the school's new gymnasium, then refused to return to class will be sitting in Saturday school for a few weeks.

Principal Mark Neal said yesterday none of the students will be suspended, but each must attend Saturday school to make up for each class missed during the protest Monday.

Forty-three students staged a sit-in inside the gym, claiming only basketball players were allowed to use the facility. The gym was built with local tax dollars as part of a nearly $5 million “west wing” at the school south of Lima.

School administrators said the school did not have a final occupancy permit for the gym and just began allowing the girls and boys basketball teams to practice there two weeks ago when it received a partial permit.

Mr. Neal said the school plans to use the gym not only for basketball and volleyball but for choir concerts, dances, prom, and commencement. He called the sit-in a premature reaction.

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