ATLANTA - More than 800 Clayton County students skipped school Tuesday in order to participate in a sanctioned protest.
Clayton County school officials called the demonstration experiential learning and chartered 18 buses to Delta's Corporate Headquarters for a 10:30 a.m. protest of HB 821.
The legislation will eliminate the jet fuel tax for all airlines who buy fuel in Georgia. Clayton County school officials said it will create a $20 million hole in their budget and deprive students of critical resources.
"The number one thing is renovation because our school is so old. We need things for technology and for buses for kids to explore new things," said student Kennedi Russell.
"We don't just go there to go there. We go there to learn and be productive citizens when we graduate, so we need all the resources we can get," said Riverdale High School senior David Price.
Delta Airlines seemed to quickly turn the protest into an opportunity. They invited the students inside, gave them a tour of the museum, and even provided lunch before informing students that they will need to hire 25,000 employees over the next five years.
"Hopefully, we are going to work to resolve that when that does end, that we continue having both a strong relationship with the school system and Clayton County as well as the students," Delta Spokesperson Anthony Black concluded.
Delta officials and Clayton County school officials met again Tuesday. The airline is hopeful an amicable solution will be negotiated.