An Ohio high school student has been suspended after deciding to stay in school while his peers joined a national walkout protest against gun violence on Wednesday, March 14.
Jake Shoemaker, a senior at Hilliard Davidson High School, opted to stay in class and do his work, as he felt the options forced him to pick a side in the national debate.
As a result of his actions – or lack of – the senior was given a school suspension.
According to ABC6, the reason for Jake’s suspension, as stated on his suspension form, reads:
Student refused to follow instructions.
The school district says it’s responsible for students’ safety and they can’t be unsupervised as the reasoning for the punishment – which was just one day out of school.
Stacie Raterman, a spokesperson for Hilliard City Schools said:
I can only confirm that no student was suspended for not walking out, nor were any suspended for walking out.
Check out Jake’s story in the video below:
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The suspension slip Jake was given has gone viral and the teen commented:
I really didn’t have a choice here. If you walked out you were with the protest, you were for gun control and anti-gun violence and if you sat in this pit with all these other people you were pro gun-violence.
It’s the least political protest that exists and the thing that I was protesting in politics in the classroom. I feel that it has no place. In a school, in a district, anywhere.
Jake’s slip included the phone number of his father, Scott Shoemaker, which led to a wave of anonymous phone calls.
Scott said he received plenty of angry comments, as well as many callers thinking his son was suspended for walking out.
Jake’s father even revealed how he’d been subjected to a couple of death threats.
Taking to Facebook to clear the air, Scott said:
Thought I was going to have a normal day yesterday until my son’s story (and my old phone number) went viral and media outlets from all over the country started contacting me.
Jacob felt he was forced to make a political decision at school, but refrained. This was not the first time we have had problems with politics in the classroom as many of you are well aware.
Proud of my son for sticking to his guns and avoiding politics in the school, although the school and the school district were less than thrilled with his decision and probably the unwanted attention they are getting for the harsh decision that they made.
Both Jake and his father have said they don’t want people, predominantly online, to use the teen’s decision to help their own political agenda.
Scott Shoemaker has said he plans to talk with school officials soon.
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