GRANTS PASS, Ore. – One Grants Pass High School student is behind bars Tuesday night. This comes after a student-led walk-out in support of LGTBQ rights took place at Grants Pass High School.
This walk-out came after the Grants Pass School Board reversed its decision to fire a pair of controversial educators who’ve promoted the ”’I Resolve Movement.”
Late last week the Grants Pass Police Department was notified by School District 7 officials of a student-led walk-out planned for Tuesday.
The school district requested a police presence at Grants Pass High School to monitor what was anticipated to be a peaceful protest by students. Officers were deployed at all three schools as requested. At 1:48 PM approximately 200-300 students gathered in front of the Grants Pass High School 9th Street entrance in an apparent protest that had moved into and blocked the street. Additional police officers arrived to protect the group’s right to freedom of speech and to maintain public peace and safety.
In opposition to the student protesters, other participants with counter opinions arrived at the high school. Police said the differing opinions of the participants led to a clash between students and counter-protesters. During the discord, police said a 15-year-old student intentionally spit in an adult male’s face. The student was detained by police and escorted out of the area with criminal charges pending. Students told NBC5 News that the student was a transgender male.
Police said it didn’t stop there. A 14-year-old female student began swinging a broomstick at the same adult male citizen. The kid was detained for second-degree Disorderly Conduct and transported to the Josephine County Juvenile Justice Center where she was cited and released to a parent. While officers were taking the 14-year-old female into custody, 19-year-old Lillyana Audley, a resident of Medford, attempted to prevent officers from making the arrest. Audley also encouraged others to block officers and the officer’s vehicle. Audley was arrested and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for Riot, Second Degree Disorderly Conduct, and Interfering with Police.
Police told NBC5 News they used de-escalation tactics. While a substantial number of students returned to class leaving approximately 100 students who refused. The remaining students were left under the control and care of school staff.
Grants Pass Police Department said, under these circumstances, their job is to help keep the peace, ensure safety, nurture trust, and promote legitimacy within our community.