Hundreds of students walked out of class at Herbert Hoover High School (HHHS) Thursday after learning at least two soccer coaches were dismissed.
HHHS Vice Principal Jeremy Martin said two walk-on coaches did not have their temporary contracts renewed, adding the school wants to go in a "different direction." HHHS is located in San Diego's Mid-City neighborhood.
When the students found out about the dismissals, they went to the administration, which told students the coaches were not dismissed, even though they were, one soccer coach told NBC 7 San Diego.
The students then marched outside.
From 9:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Thursday, hundreds of students were in front of the school in what Martin called a peaceful and unfocused demonstration.
One of the coaches has been at the school for 20 years, Martin said. He was apparently dismissed for going $1,000 over budget. Martin would not go into specifics on job action taken against the coaches.
Martin estimated 90 percent of the students were using it as an opportunity to get out of class.
Some students tell NBC 7 San Diego they felt it was unfair to dismiss a coach who has been connected to the school for so long and was dedicated to the players.
"They're taking away a coach that has been with us for 21 years, he's been at Hoover for 21 years and he's served his community and the people. He's given all the people everything for free," said Jose Almaraz, a student at the school.
"So, he provided for us a year round program that the school will not provide for us," said Almaraz.
The administration chose to do nothing when learning of the students' actions, Martin said, so as not to incite the group. They monitored the activity and made sure it stayed safe. Eventually, the students went back to class, he said.
The district says there will be no displinary action taken against the students.