Pike County students risk suspension to participate in walkout

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 16, 2018 8:35 am

GRIGGSVILLE, Ill. -- Seven Griggsville-Perry High School students who held a walkout for 17 minutes Wednesday to remember the 17 students and teachers who were killed in a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last month have been given two days of in-school suspension.

A letter sent to the students' parents and signed by Principal Jillian Theis said: "On Wednesday, March 14, your student walked out of the school during regular school hours in protest. He/She was not given permission to do so. The students were unsupervised during the time outside. This activity caused a disruption to the learning environment at Griggsville-Perry High School."

It cited handbook violations as the reason for the suspensions, which were conducted Thursday and Friday.

"All seven of us wanted to honor the 17 students and staff who lost their lives. Every minute we were out there was to honor them," senior Bailey Scoggins said. "Even though we are a small-town school, we have a voice that should still be heard."

She said that the students did not let teachers know beforehand that they were walking outside to the sidewalk in front of the school entrance, and teachers did warn beforehand that there would be consequences for walking out.

"The school administration did not talk about the walkout beforehand. They did, however, say that those who would decide to partake in the walkout would be given detentions. They did not say that it wasn't allowed," Scoggins said. "If you sit back and watch something happen, nothing will change. We didn't do this for us to get some attention. We did this to raise attention and awareness for people to see that there is a problem. Also, we did not do this in a way to disrespect our teachers and school. We walked to show respect for those families who have lost someone because of a school shooting. This was a chance for us kids to take a stand."

When contacted on Thursday, the school said no comment could be provided at that time.