AUSTIN -- With signs that read “AISD destroyed my English class" and “Teachers are more than just paychecks,” a group of students stood outside AISD headquarters Monday protesting a practice called “leveling.”
On Thursday, beloved teacher Alissa Bell’s class at McCallum High School learned that she was leaving, and by Monday Bell was teaching at a new school.
“There's a loss of relationship and of plans which is a lot of what education is about,” said Bell.
AISD officials say numbers are the reason for the switch: McCallum High had fewer students enrolled than expected so the district had to put some of McCallum’s resources elsewhere.
Protest organizer and high school junior Daniel Chilton says the move was devastating.
“I know this is a bit of an exaggeration, but it was like the school closed down."
Fellow teachers say this practice of leveling sends a clear message.
“It makes us feel like cogs and that we're quite expendable,” said McCallum English teacher Flor Mota.
“All of us feel we could easily be plucked out of our situation and dropped in another school at the drop of a hat,” said fellow McCallum English teacher Eric Crawford.
One parent tells KVUE that even though her daughter isn't in Bell's class, she's still affected by the change.
“Her teacher has to pick up the extra load and her teacher also lost one of her special classes because she had to take up the extra load,” said Andrea Ramirez.
Bell says the protest Monday over the move is touching.
“I think it's wonderful they're out here expressing their point of view."
Students say all they want is a chance to have their say before another teacher is taken away.
A district spokesperson says the practice of "leveling" happens every year, but could not tell KVUE how many teachers had been moved this year, or in years past.