WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 20, 2013, 01:40 PM

West Fargo High School students hold sit-in to support former coach

West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - West Fargo High School students held at sit-in today to support former Coach Jim Jonas, who resigned late last week.

By: Helmut Schmidt, Forum News Service, INFORUM; WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY; Forum News Service

West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - West Fargo High school students used new media for an older form of protest, in order to show their support for a teacher and coach.

Late last week, Jim Jonas was asked to step down as assistant coach of the football and basketball teams, after a complaint was filed against him.

Athletic director Curt Jones says it was one of several that have been received.

Since then, many have voiced their support for Jonas, and today students joined in.

We were informed via social media that students began a sit-in at the school around 10:30 this morning.

The media was asked to stay out of the school-- but student cell phone cameras captured the whole thing.

"We want Jonas! We want Jonas!"

It's believed more than 100 students sat down in the school Commons and chanted for Jonas to be re-instated as a coach.

School administrators reportedly told students to quiet down, but West Fargo Police officers were called in to monitor the students.

Word got out about the sit-in over Twitter the last few days.

The protest lasted through the student's third and fourth period classes.

Some of the students involved say their actions mirrored the passion they see from Jonas on the field, and in his history classroom.

Hannah Slagle/Senior at West Fargo High School: "One of my friends saw him crying in class, and he's been a real big inspiration for me."

The social media hashtag being used by students and the public is "freeJonas".

At times today, been the most popularly used phrase by tweeters in Fargo/Moorhead, a spot usually occupied by Bison football.