— A group of about 30 students at the Kemptville High School in Illinois are upset after learning their school has been stripped of its Title IX accreditation.
The group has formed a Facebook page called “Dear Kemptland School Board,” and has posted videos on social media, showing some students at school with their mouths agape and others in tears.
The group said in a statement Monday that they plan to continue to protest and to gather signatures in the next few weeks.
In a video posted on the page, one student said she was “terrified” by the school’s decision to remove her from her classes.
She said the school administration “just stripped me of my rights” and is threatening to strip her of her diploma.
“It’s not about the school, it’s about me,” she said in the video.
“If I go back to school, what will I have to do to get my diploma?”
Another student, named Jody, said she’s been in tears throughout the day as she tries to understand the situation.
“The school has basically taken away my rights and is telling me to give up everything else that I’ve worked for my whole life to get to this point,” she told The Associated Press in a phone interview Monday.
“I don’t think we’re supposed to be doing this because of Title IX.
That’s what they’re trying to say.
This is really hurting my self-esteem.”
The group said it has filed a complaint with the Illinois Education Agency, the agency that accredits the school.
“We’re trying our best to make it clear to the administration that the students are not being discriminated against and that the administration is taking all necessary steps to protect students from discrimination,” said Kemptvale School District Superintendent Kevin Trenz said in an email to the AP.
In a statement on the Facebook page, the district said the decision to rescind the accreditation was made “after an extensive review of the student’s complaint and other information provided by the community.”
“The Kemptesville School District is committed to providing the highest standards of education for our students, our students and our community, and we have taken steps to ensure our students are provided with the highest level of safety, care, and support,” the statement said.
The district said it is reviewing its accreditation process and will respond to any feedback it receives.
On social media accounts of other students and parents, the group said they are being threatened with expulsion and that their parents are being pressured into “canceling” their kids from school.
The district is trying to distance itself from the controversy.
The district did not immediately respond to a request for comment from AP.