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School board meeting packed in support of Blacksburg HS principal, teacher

It was standing room only at Tuesday night's meeting

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Students and the Montgomery County school administration seem to have reached an agreement to improve communication.

This comes after about 200 students, parents and staff held a peaceful protest at Blacksburg High School Monday morning in response to Principal Brian Kitts' sudden departure and the abrupt absence of another teacher, Brad Kraft, allegedly over discussions of mental health.

Now, the community is still demanding answers. It was standing room only at Tuesday night's Montgomery County School Board meeting.

While school officials promised to be more open, parents and teachers are frustrated and skeptical things will change.

"We still see other issues that have not yet been addressed but we feel like this is the first piece in a puzzle that is going to be able to maybe help solve some of the problems that we are seeing today," said Christian Shuchok, the student who organized Monday's protest. 

Shuchok's frustrations were echoed by both parents and staff.

Students and parents say Kitts and Kraft have not been on campus and there's been little explanation to explain their absence.

A school district representative tells 10 News that both men are still employed by the district and that Kitts will take over as the director of student services and school safety on July 1.

Students and parents say they're frustrated over the changes happening so close to the end of the year.

"We can't tell you what actually happened with individuals, but that doesn't mean we can't address how we communicate with everyone. So we're going to commit to improving communication but have to have your feedback," said Superintendent Mark Maier at Tuesday's meeting.

Students remain optimistic and are determined to push for change.

"We won't stop until things change. If you don't hold your leaders accountable, then they might not do anything. So we're going to be around. We're going to keep pestering until those changes really do go through," said Shuchok.

School officials agreed to create a council made up of students, staff and administrators to keep the dialogue open.


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