West Liberty-Salem High School was the scene of a school shooting in January 2017. Many of the students that protested Wednesday lived through that shooting.
But the school didn’t sanction the protest and the majority of students didn’t participate. The victim of the school shooting, Logan Cole, organized a lunch-time memorial service.
Kids leaving their classroom isn’t safe, Superintendent Kraig Hissong said, and because the walkouts are related to a political movement, shouldn’t be allowed on campus.
Wilson and her fellow protesters will have to serve a detention either on Thursday or Friday, she said.
MORE: Student walkouts range from somber tributes to angry rallies
“I understand that we did do something against school policy but I do find it frustrating that the school did not support us better,” student protester Madeline Emory said.
Supporters gathered across from the Champaign County high school and cheered when the students walked out. That included Garrett Baldwin, who said what the students did was important.
“In America, that’s one of the most important things we have, the ability to voice our difference in opinion … We’re sick and tired of kids being gunned down in schools,” Baldwin said.
READ: The Latest: Students take part in walkout despite warnings
At Springfield High School, the administration asked students to not walk out because they believed it wasn’t safe. But more than 30 students did.
The district will work with students to make the walkout a learning experience, Superintendent Bob Hill said in a statement.
“Through the use of restorative practices, the administration will work with student participants to ensure that today’s events are a learning and growth experience for both adults and students alike,” Hill said.
Springfield student leaders Austin Tyree, Paavan Patel, Mariam Ranginwala worked with the school to hold a moment of silence for each of the Florida school shooting victims as an alternative to the walkout.
“The principal was concerned about Springfield High student safety, and he proposed having 17, 30-second moments of silence,” Tyree said. “I think it’s a better alternative to walking out and being disruptive to the class.”
The walkout was a safety hazard, Patel said.
“We thought it wasn’t safe enough for the students to walk outside,” he said.
Patel believes he’s safe in Springfield High School
“We have officers that are well trained and I feel safe,” he said.
EXTRA: Parkland students lead walkouts to protest gun violence
Some people who commented on the Springfield News-Sun Facebook page didn’t support the walkouts.
"I say suspend any student that leaves their assigned classroom or give them community service," Joe Dennis said. "They are there to learn, not to protest."
The Springfield News-Sun digs into important school safety issues in Clark and Champaign counties, including recent coverage of security upgrades at West Liberty-Salem High School and a rash of threats against schools in both counties.