Dozens of Anderson students disciplined after school walkout
ANDERSON, Ind.– Parents of an Anderson High School student are outraged after she was suspended and dozens of other students disciplined following a school walkout last week.
Sophomore Kayla Smith was suspended this week.
Last Friday, students across the country walked out of school to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine massacre. Kayla claims the school gave students the day to protest so she stayed outside, holding signs with other kids from 10 a.m. to 2:30 pm.
“The whole student body was out there,” she said.
But the school has a different story.
Interim Superintendent Tim Smith says students were only given an allotted time to walk out. A statement from him reads in part:
“Students were told that they would be allowed 15 -20 minutes during the walk out last Friday to leave the building without consequence. They were also told that if they exceeded that time limit OR left school property they would be subject to normal disciplinary consequences.”
Kayla’s mom Kimberly Brumback doesn’t think that’s fair, especially since Kayla’s write-up said she was suspended for refusing to give school officials her name when she came back inside.
“It’s very upsetting that, you know, they’re taking all these kids and disciplining them for standing up for gun rights.”
Civil rights groups like the ACLU are paying close attention to these walk outs. The ACLU of Nevada just recently warned schools not to go too far with punishments.
“Kids don’t leave their rights when they enter the school-house,” said Jane Henegar, Executive Director of the ACLU of Indiana
So what are your child’s rights?
Henegar said kids can walk out for any amount of time, but they need to be prepared for the consequences, if they go over the excused time.
If the school wants to punish your child, they can. However, it has to be the same way they’d punish another student for an absence.
“The ones who are protesting, need to be treated the same way that other students would be treated for violating the same rule,” said Henegar.
Although Kayla has missed a lot of school work, her parents said they aren’t upset with her. In fact, they’re proud of how she spent her day at school.
“I’m proud of my daughter. I’m very proud of my daughter, because somebody’s got to stand up for these kids,” said Brumback.