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Parents, Teachers In Central Russia On Hunger Strike

ULYANOVSK, Russia -- Some 40 teachers and parents of middle school students in the central Russian city of Ulyanovsk are two days into a three-day hunger strike to protest the city's decision to close their school, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

"If the decision isn't reversed the hunger strike will continue," a protester in front of the school told RFE/RL as the action started on June 24.

The mayor of Ulyanovsk explained that five schools in the city will be shuttered due to the demographic decline in the region. Students will be transferred to another school two kilometers away.

School director Irina Malyamova refused to sign the mayor's petition to close the school and was fired.

Parents are angry that their children will have to travel farther to go to school. Also, students will have to study in shifts -- one group in the morning and one in the afternoon -- a practice to which parents object.