Littleton High School students camp out in a school hallway Thursday morning to protest the termination of beloved history teacher and lacrosse coach
Littleton High School students camp out in a school hallway Thursday morning to protest the termination of beloved history teacher and lacrosse coach Eugene Schultz. Students found out Wednesday night that Schultz s contract had not been renewed and are demanding answers. (courtesy photo)

LITTLETON -- Littleton High School students have taken over a hallway in the school to protest what they feel is the unfair dismissal of a beloved teacher.

According to participating students, the Thursday protest is centered around the termination of Eugene Schultz, a history teacher and lacrosse coach at the school.

Students said they found out Wednesday night via Schultz's Facebook page that the three-year teacher and junior class advisor's contract was not renewed. They organized the protest overnight, skipping classes to camp out in the hallway by the school auditorium.

"Everybody here is livid and absolutely furious that such a great teacher was fired," said sophomore Wesley Cline, 15, speaking by phone from inside the school Thursday morning.

He said the students care so deeply about Schultz that they are risking their own grades to show their support.

They've also started paper and onliine petitions demanding Schultz be reinstated. As of 11:40 a.m., 139 students had signed the petition on change.org.

Schultz was reportedly still teaching Thursday, but had not visited the students involved in the protest.

Students in the protest said 100 to 150 of their peers had participated at varying levels since it began around 7:30 a.m. Many plan to stay camped out in the hallway through the school day.

Principal John Harrington said staff are monitoring and supervising the students and that "disciplinary action may be assigned if need be.


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He said he could not comment as to the specifics of a "confidential personnel matter" but confirmed the teacher in question would be finishing out the school year.

Cline, of Groton, said he attended Applewild School in Fitchburg before choosing to attend Littleton High School.

"Mr. Schultz was the reason my first year was so great and I decided to stay at Littleton High School," Cline said.

He said Schultz's teaching method may be considered unconventional, but his way of speaking "similar to us, not down to us" has inspired students and contributed to their academic success.

Cline said Schultz teaches Advanced Placement European History and World History 2 and runs the school's model United Nations Club. He said Schultz is also the boys junior varsity lacrosse coach and assistant varsity lacrosse coach.

"Me and all my other peers are participating in the protest because we just feel it's wrong they dismissed Schultz this way," said junior Katelyn White, 17. "He's more than just a teacher to us, he's a friend and a mentor."

White said Schultz has been her class advisor since freshman year, and she feels it's unfair her class will have to have a new advisor in their senior year. She said Schultz is viewed by many as someone they can go talk to about anything.

Students said school administration has provided no reasons for Schultz's termination.

"I'm looking for an answer as to why he got fired, if nothing else," said sophomore Ben Drinkwater, 15.

He said he had Schultz for his freshman history class and he still goes to talk with him. Schultz is well-liked and "makes a space for kids to go," Drinkwater said.

Students are using #SaveShultz in conversations about the protest on social media.

Follow Alana Melanson at facebook.com/alana.lowellsun or on Twitter @alanamelanson.