Some students at Portland school walk out to protest curriculum change

PORTLAND, Ore. - Students at one Portland public school walked out of class Monday in protest over a curriculum change.

That change? More math and science.

While a lot of parents would say more math and science is a good thing, that's not the case at Da Vinci Arts Middle School in Northeast Portland. Many of them and some students say it will change the artistic feel of the magnet arts school.

Da Vinci does better on standardized tests than other schools - much better in reading and only a little better in math. That's why the principal wants students to spend more time on math and science.

But it means taking time during the day from language arts and social studies.

But some of the students don't like that. So at noon they walked out of school in protest. According to Portland Public Schools, about 35 children took part.

Joshua Vanfossen didn't skip class and told KATU that it didn't make sense to protest your education by not getting one.

"I was talking an Oaks test, because I'm an eighth-grader. It's like a final science test that you take, and I had a lot of trouble focusing because they were running up and down the street chanting," he said.

Some of the students said they were told they'd possibly be suspended for taking part.

KATU was told that Principal Fred Locke was unavailable to comment because he was buried in paperwork. A reporter was referred to the school district. A school district spokeswoman said any discipline would be up to the principal.

The children don't know if they'll do it again, but there will be a meeting about the changes Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the school.