Southeastern PA

200 students pay the price for national walkout participation

On Wednesday, Pennridge High School held a remembrance assembly to honor the 17 victims who were killed in the Parkland Florida school shooting last month.

While approximately 800 kids attended, more than 200 students including ninth grader Haley Ellis walked out of school and therefore will serve a Saturday detention. 

"I feel perfectly fine about it. I mean, I did the crime so I have to do the time," Ellis said.

On Tuesday, Superintendent Jacqueline Rattigan sent a notice to families saying any student who left school without a parent would be reprimanded because it was a safety issue.

"I think since there was police out there that they were safe and that they shouldn't be punished I don't think, because they're just saying what they believe," freshman Dylan Ziccardi said.

Senior Jay Shafer chose to sit in on the assembly. He says while he respects those who chose to go outside and peacefully protest, he was bothered by some protestors yelling in the auditorium. 

"I feel like it was disrespectful for the people who wanted to just go and remember the dead and do their civic duty and kinda remember those who were lost," he said.

Pennridge was one of several districts in the area including Allentown and Parkland, which alerted students ahead of time there would be consequences for their actions. 

"Just maybe standing there, maybe we didn't make a big difference but it was a difference to us and we felt as if we were strong enough to do something and I feel like that's great," Ellis said.

The superintendent also said kids were disciplined simply because they broke school rules by walking out and not because of their views. 

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