WESTBY, Wis. (WKBT) - Students at Westby High School are standing side by side to show even the smallest schools are capable of sending the biggest message.
A Facebook live video posted by a Westby High School student shows nearly the entire school sitting in to show support of their principal Karl Stoker.
Stoker was placed on a 10-day administrative leave of absence on March 17th.
School district administrators say they can't say why Stoker is on administrative leave because of privacy policies.
Students say they want to show the school they support their principal and that's why they decided not to attend class Friday.
They say they don't know why Stoker is placed on a 10-day absence, but they want to stand behind the man who always stands behind them.
"Mr.Stoker talks to each and every individual and he shows how much he cares for the whole student body," one student said.
District administrator Charles Norton says he supports students' decisions to express their views.
"We respect the student's desires to demonstrate and protest over issues," Norton said.
But he says there are policies in place the school must follow.
However parents say they're concerned about the lack of information.
"You know we want to know what the suspension was for we don't have any idea," one parent said.
Students say while there is a lot they don't know at this time, the situation is teaching them a new lesson.
"It's kind of crazy to think that so many people know what we're doing and are respectful and behind us but it just kind of shows what kind of impact he's had."
According to the school's district office, Karl Stoker will return to school on April 3, 2017.
News 8 tried reaching out to Stoker but he was not available to comment.
Stoker has taught in the Westby area school district for nearly 30 years.
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