About 400 students at Dominguez High School in Compton staged a four-hour walkout Monday that was so peaceful the principal lent them his sound system and, at his request, the protesters picked up their trash before returning to class.
The crowd of mostly juniors and seniors at the 1,800-student school was protesting the suspension last week of the dean of students, Cornelia Davis. The reason for the suspension was unclear.
School district officials said Davis has been suspended without pay pending an investigation by the school board. They declined to comment further, saying it was a personnel matter.
The students assembled on the front lawn of the school at 9:30 a.m. and returned to classes at 1:30 p.m., shortly after student leaders met with Principal Ernie Roy.
Davis could not be reached for comment. She was described by several protesting students as a mother figure at the school. "She's like a motivator to all of us," said senior Kimberly Wilson, Dominguez's liaison to the Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees.