A crowd of parents and students from Ramstein High School in Germany blasted a new study-hall policy Monday during an emergency meeting called by school officials in the wake of a student sit-in last week.

Emotions ran high as students and parents criticized the seminar classes for including ninth- through 12th-grade students — a change made this year by principal Greg Hatch to cut down on socializing.

The 90-minute classes are mandatory and allow students to catch up on course work, meet with teachers or study with other students.

At the 2½-hour meeting, most critics told the School Advisory Council that the multigrade seminars make it difficult for students to collaborate.

Though students can request passes to meet with their peers during the seminar classes, most said that only works when they can anticipate problems.

“What? Am I supposed to use my spider senses to predict that I’m going to have a problem five hours in advance?” senior Hunter Wilson said after addressing the advisory council.

The senior class staged a sit-in last week to protest the change, gathering 140 students in the senior hall. Student organizers threatened to continue demonstrating until the seminar classes revert to the single-grade structure of years past.

The School Advisory Council met in an executive session following the meeting with the hopes of making a recommendation on the matter Monday night.

“In this crowd, you have a lot of passion,” said parent Anne Kratzer. “I would hope to see that all the opinions that have come up here have been overwhelmingly for (single-grade) seminars will be taken seriously.”

Meanwhile, students were “hoping for the best,” said senior Tom Giovingo, one of the students who helped organize last week’s sit-in.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up