Protests erupt as St. Louis Community College board votes on budget cuts

Protests erupted Thursday as the St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees considered budget cuts and layoffs. Credit: KMOV

Leaders at St. Louis Community College are considering taking action against protests like the one board members watched in late November.

Board members are expected to decide this week whether or not to ban protesters from their meetings.The proposed ban on protesters is just one rule in a document, outlining.changing policies for the public comment portion of meetings.

The push to keep out protesters from public meetings comes about two months after security dragged out a professor who thought the board was firing him. Students protested last November, proposed budget cuts.

Incoming student Latoya Hollins wonders if St. Louis Community College leaders know the meaning of the first amendment.

"That is the whole purpose of freedom of speech. We should be able to say what we want to say and voice our opinions on situations especially on things going on in our community," said Hollins.

Faiza Mohamed sees things differently.

"Protesters protest in their own kind of way. Some are violent and some are not. So, I believe they have the right to say we don't need protestors in our meetings," said Mohamed.

She believes all distractions should be left at the door.

"In a meeting, there needs to be some type of function, some type of organization and it has to be carried on. I don't think there should be any of disturbances," added Mohamed.

Hollins understands meetings need order, but not restricting conversation.

"They shouldn't sit back and let it happen. There should definitely be security, police officers and all that should be there to keep things down," added Hollins.

The proposed changes also call for banning demonstrations, insults, violence, repetitive comments, off-topic comments and those going longer than two minutes. The vote to change policy could happen Thursday.

Copyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

News 4 Reporter

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