San Francisco's Aptos Middle School students walk out of class in demand of improved wellness center

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A group of Aptos Middle School 6th graders held a walk-out for one period of school Friday demanding a better wellness center.

Parents say the impetus for the walk-out was fights and name calling.

"Kids that are choked by other kids by the neck and lifted up off the floor. My daughter and her friends have also articulated that walking along the halls they constantly are
called the B word," said parent Jason Leung.

Parents say the bad behavior has become normalized and they want change.

"Well trained social workers and/or therapists and a wellness center where kids can go if they need time to cool down or they need somebody to talk to," said parent Alana Toner.

San Francisco Unified School District Spokesperson Laura Dudnick says there are a number of supports in place, including a wellness center, social worker, counselors and staff.

"The school and the district is really committed to supporting everyone here at Aptos and making sure this is a safe, welcoming community for all," said Dudnick.

Students and parents say they believe a greater number of qualified social workers and therapists are needed as well as accountability for students who misbehave.

"I feel disappointed by the school district as well as the administration," said Leung.

A school resource officer and teachers were outside with the students during the walk-out to make sure they were safe.

The school district says it's held community meetings for parents to express their concerns.
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