Students cited, fined after organizing sit-in at Lombardi Middle School

Several students are facing hefty citations from the city of Green Bay after taking part in a sit-in at Lombardi Middle School.
Published: Jun. 13, 2023 at 5:52 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2023 at 7:33 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Several students are facing hefty citations from the city of Green Bay after taking part in a sit-in at Lombardi Middle School. The students organized the protest because of what they call a lack of action on bullying and physical violence in school.

Parents and their kids say this all started because some of their friends are being bullied. One of the eighth-grade students says it’s so bad for him that next year he plans to take high school classes online.

“Some of the girls were being bullied for being sexual assault victims,” said Reba Charles, Cadence’s mother. “She had made fun of her and told her she was a {REDACTED}, sorry for my language, that she was a {REDACTED} and that she wanted it, and she deserved it and that she liked it,” said Cadence Ordaz-Miller, a student.

“She came up to my friend, {REDACTED} she started just like yelling at her and stuff and the school is doing nothing about it, they would just let her roam the halls and like threaten us, she was threatening us the whole time,” said student Jahbriel Figueroa.

A parent and two students at Lombardi Middle School are sharing their recent experiences.

On May 24, Cadence and Jahbriel say they and about a dozen other students organized a sit-in outside the main office at Lombardi Middle School. They say it was peaceful and they hoped it would cultivate change in school when it comes to bullying. They tell Action 2 News they’ve witnessed some of their friends who are being bullied, they say, for saying they are victims of sexual assault.

Cadence says she’s experienced bullying at school, including physical violence her mother says landed her in the hospital.

“It was last month she ended up having to go to the emergency room to get stitches but it was so far in her nail bed they had to glue it,” said Reba Charles.

Jahbriel’s father says his son has also experienced several incidents.

“He’s been called names, he’s been pushed,” said Wilson Figueroa, Jahbriel’s father. During the sit-in, the students say they were moved and told they would get to voice their concerns.

“When they moved us into that room, they told us that they wanted to hear our voice so we started talking, one by one, and then the principal started talking over us, and we also didn’t feel that was right because then you’re not hearing our voices. So, some of us got little escalated and started swearing at the principal which obviously isn’t right, they shouldn’t have done that,” said Cadence.

Action 2 News reached out to the school and the district more than a week ago for an interview about the sit-in. They declined but did share a statement that was provided to Lombardi Middle School families.

It states that: “At the start of the school day several students held an impromptu sit-in outside the Lombardi Middle School office. School administrators gave students the choice to speak individually with a staff member, provide a statement, or to return to class, and those students who did so received no consequences.”

Several students are facing hefty citations from the city of Green Bay after taking part in a...
Several students are facing hefty citations from the city of Green Bay after taking part in a sit-in at Lombardi Middle School.(WBAY)

The students and parents we spoke with tell us they were not told at the time that they would be punished for the sit-in.

“This is the first time that I see that students got either expelled or get citations, high-priced citations because they make a protest, which is a constitutional right in the First Amendment of the United States,” said Wilson Figueroa, Jaheriel’s father.

“You guys weren’t aware of that?” asked Action 2 News’ Emily Beier.

“We weren’t aware,” answered Jaheriel Figueroa.

“Now if you would’ve been made aware, would you guys have gone back to class?” asked Beier.

“I think most of us would’ve went back to class, yeah,” said Jaheriel Figueroa.

The sit-in costing kids like cadence and Jahbriel a hefty fine.

“It’s a lot of money,” said Cadence.

Cadence was cited on May 26 for loitering and disorderly conduct, with fines costing her $563.

“In your opinion, would you say that the discipline for a sit-in is more harsh than physical violence?” asked Action 2 News’ Emily Beier.

“Oh, for sure, I mean they didn’t do anything, they didn’t hurt anybody, they weren’t in anybody’s way. They weren’t clogging up the hallways, they were just sitting there telling them, ‘hey something needs to be done,’” said Reba Charles.

Everyone we spoke with tells Action 2 News the consequences they received don’t seem equitable compared to other alleged bullying incidents at Lombardi Middle School.

“Little things cannot help big problems, little solutions cannot help big problems and I hope they’ll learn how to deal with big problems and small problems at the same time because things like this can really hurt a person,” said Candence.

Cadence and Jaheriel have their court dates coming up. Action 2 News will continue to follow those.

Police are also working on records requests for Action 2 News on the alleged incidents at the school. Action 2 News will continue to bring you new developments on this story as we learn more.

We also have resources for survivors of sexual assault and bullying.