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McDonalds drops student seating

April 1, 2005 at 11:54 AM

CHICAGO, April 1 (UPI) -- An honor student at Chicago's Kenwood Academy High School is being hailed as a hero for getting a local McDonald's restaurant to drop a student seating area.

The fast-food outlet opened in September and quickly became a popular lunchtime hangout for teenagers in the Hyde Park neighborhood. The owner set up restricted seating for high school students in January, but scraped the policy after 15-year-old Catherine Smith was arrested for refusing to leave a seat in the non-student area.

She was eating Chicken Selects when a security guard ordered her to move. She refused and police took her away in handcuffs.

The owner claimed the girl was trespassing and resisting arrest but the officer took her back to school where the honor student was praised as the "Rosa Parks of the Golden Arches."

The McDonalds dropped its student seating policy and apologized.

A rally is planned against other businesses accused of criminalizing neighborhood young people.

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