Students Face Detention for Walking Out

KELLY TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- This Wednesday, thousands of students are expected to walk out of class as part the National School Walkout protesting gun violence. Several superintendents in northeastern and central Pennsylvania have already said they will work with students. But at least one district plans to punish students who walk out.

Officials at Lewisburg Area High School say students who walk out of class here will face detention. The district's student handbook states it's policy to give detention for unexcused absences.

Even so, some students and their parents say that won't stop the kids from participating.

It's been almost one month since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. On Wednesday, thousands of high school students across the country, are expected to walk out of class for 17 minutes in honor of the 17 people who were killed and to protest gun violence.

One of those students planning to walk out of class is Chloe Kauffman of Lewisburg.

"Not just to protest gun violence, but to show respect for the 17 victims who, unfortunately, lost their lives," Kauffman said.

Recently, students in Lewisburg found out if they participate in the National School Walkout they will get detention. Lewisburg Area Superintendent Dr. Steven Skalia tells Newswatch 16 it is school policy. The district's student handbook states all unexcused absences get 1-3 days detention.

"I have a problem with that. The kids are trying to make a statement that this is wrong. Why should the kids be penalized," Lori Moyer asked.

Lori Moyer's son is a junior and plans to walk out. She is fine with that, just not the punishment.

"I don't want detention for him," Moyer said.

Angela Brouse's freshman daughter also plans to walk out.

"If you ever get detention in school or get in trouble at school you get it twice as hard at home. However I might be a little more lenient with this one because you're not getting detention for acting out or being disrespectful," Brouse said.

Some students tell Newswatch 16 that the punishment for walking out of class will be a lunchtime detention. Chloe Kauffman says she is fine with that.

"Since it's just a lunch detention that's 30 minutes and it's not going on your permanent record, I don't see it as much of a big deal," Kauffman said.

Newswatch 16 spoke with officials at some other area school districts. Officials at Danville, Shikellamy, Jersey Shore and South Williamsport will not be disciplining their students for walking out of class on Wednesday.

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  • Kimberley Anne

    It’s time the adults take action and I don’t mean a 30 minute lunch detention. I’m appalled at the parents supporting these kids walking out of school to protest an issue that is part of our constitutional rights. Protest, if you must, on your own time, even though you are running solely on emotion and not facts. Learn some history, like WWII and Hitler, and learn the Constitution. You feel like protesting? How about protesting bullying…

  • Fredric Underhill

    Silverfish as it correct.

    This is equivalent to demonstrating without a license and disorderly behavior.

    If you want to protest violence, remember it has no ears to hear. It will never stop by protesting it.

  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    HEY KIDS! Wanna protest something? You can start with Obama’s Promise Program (it was meant for minorities not being disciplined for in-school behavioral issues, or even charged with misdemeanors {and naturally escalated to felonies} outside of school which sent extra monies to school districts because it made them appear that infractions were down among students. When you’re done protesting that you can protest the Broward County Sheriff’s Department that adhered to the Promise Program and ignored 39 calls about Nikolas Cruz (some of them weren’t even written up by the responding officers) from 2009 to 2017, and the F.B.I. that ignored at least three calls, the most recent one in January of this year, regarding Cruz’s behavior and threats, including one on his Facebook page. Then, you can protest Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson, who lied about thinking the shots were “fireworks”, and were outside the building (the police radio calls have proven Peterson knew they were gunshots, what building they were coming from, and telling other responding officers to stay 500 feet from the building, instead of going in with his semi-automatic pistol and bullet-proof vest on and trying to stop Cruz himself) and the Sheriff himself for his politically patronizing hiring practices. That should be enough protesting for you until the end of this school year. Get busy.

    • Fredric Underhill

      Get 17 parents and walk with t-shirts at the school.

      Get 17 parents to each make 17 calls to WNEPA which is encouraging and enabling this brand of lawlessness.

      I hope the have lawyers.

  • jimbrony

    Who else is thinking that some whack-job somewhere is thinking these walkouts will be a prime opportunity for an ambush? Let’s see, high concentration of people, no cover, no secure doors, no resource officers. I hope I’m wrong.

  • Fredric Underhill

    What are they protesting?

    Had the spineless uniformed and armed police done their job, the situation would have been different. Is that what the protest is?

    Are they protesting how the Obama era F. B. I. “Dropped the ball?”

    No, they are protesting a Disney version as reported by bias news media such as television and WNEPA 16 reports.

    Let the schools get sealed each day for a week during this threat. Let nothing in or out during the week during this period.

    Any unauthorized absentees should be given detention and be made to pay the school systems for lost state funding along with the idea of cleaning washrooms and basements with toothbrushes.

    • Rusty Knyffe

      Frederic, there will be no answers because there are no rational responses to support this planned protest. Parents are haling their children’s actions as courageous and positive, but they don’t seem to grasp the concept that civil disobedience is not the same as skipping class for a protest that cannot be explained.

      It reminds me of a campus-wide protest before the last Presidential election. College kids were wandering around shouting leftist (yeah, I typed it) slogans and someone approached the organizer and asked, on camera, what they were all protesting. His answer was, “We’re working on that.” Meaning, these people were milling about shouting out slogans applicable to nothing. Same scenario, here. What is the expected outcome of this event? ………….wait for it………

      • Fredric Underhill

        I’ll forgive your misspelling my name this time as I agree with you. :)

        Who is paying for this? Who gains by our gun seizures and disarming?

  • Bob Calvey

    I beg to differ with Mrs brouse about her daughter not disrespecting because I what she is doing is going against school policy so she and you are both wrong can’t these intelligent young people come up with a better way to respect the lives lost