"This is affecting our education," said Britney Gracie, a junior at Medomak Valley High School.

Gracie, along with fellow students, is planning a sit-in Friday, April 12. Instead of going to their classrooms, the students plan on converging in silence in the cafeteria upon entering the building at 7:30 a.m.

"We need to get the point across that we care about our teachers, just as much as they care about us," Gracie said.

Since their imposed "work to rule" was initiated at the Regional School Unit 40 board meeting April 4, the teachers have been conforming strictly to their current contracts. They are not coming in early or staying late to help the students, she said. They have been working without a contract since October 2012.

"We are doing this to support our teachers," said Gracie.

Gracie expects about 100 students will participate.

Threats of suspension to those who participate have been launched, she said.

"The seniors have been told they risk being able to march with their graduating class if they participate," said Gracie.

Principal Harold Wilson has not yet returned a request for comment.

"Teachers legally have to teach us, but if we refuse to be taught by going to the gym or cafeteria, then they are technically doing nothing wrong," said Gracie's mother Cristine in an email.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or by email at bbirmingham@courierpublicationsllc.com.