“We Need To Be Heard!” Students Shout During Walkout

photo credit//callum shaw//unsplash.com

Students at a high school in Missouri walked out of classes on Monday, October 4th in an apparent show of support for two students: a gay senior who has been the target of bullies and his friend who defended him. Danny Lillis and Malani Hohlbaugh were both suspended due to an incident last week. 

The walkout is a culmination of a non-existent response from school administration to repeated instances of bullying and harassment aimed towards Lilllis. He spoke to KSHB news telling them,

“We decided to do the walk out today to basically show movement towards our school and administration for the lack of action toward these repeated and multiple events that have been happening to me and my friends. I’m terrified to step another foot in that school. To walk into a building where someone had just punched my friend and broke her nose due to this whole situation.”

Lillis, Hohlbaugh and another friend were involved in a fight when confronted by bullies. Hohlbaugh shoved a bully, fed up with the way they constantly harrassed Lillis, and Hohlbaugh, according to her mother who spoke with Kansas City Starwas “punched right in the face.” Melanie Davis also told KCS,

“The school dropped the ball,” said Melanie Davies. They have given them a hard time for Danny being gay, for him wearing makeup to school, for him expressing himself.”

Hohlbaugh was taken to the emergency room and was treated for a broken nose among other injuries. The school punished ALL students involved with a 5-day suspension!  Tired of that type of response from the school students took matters into their own hands. Over 100 students walked out of their classes in protest of the school’s anti-LGBT stance. 

 

 

 

LGBTQ Nation also reported that in the wake of protests a petition has been started on Change.org,

“it says that the administration knew about the bullying and did nothing to stop it. The petition calls on the school to remove the suspension from Lillis’s and Davies’s daughter’s records, investigate the anti-gay bullying, apologize ‘for inflecting fear in all LSHS LGBTQ+ students,’ and enforce their “zero tolerance” policy on bullying.”

As usual, the school district gave a meaningless statement, taking zero responsibility, 

“We support our students’ right to express their voice peacefully and are communicating with students about the best ways we can support them. The district “is committed to supporting and working together with students to address their concerns with fairness, dignity, and respect.”

With 3,300 signatures (plus mine!) and counting, the petition is getting closer and closer to its goal of 5,000. Thank you to the students of Lee’s Summit High School for taking action and standing up for what they believe is right!  “WE NEED TO BE HEARD!”

(**this post is solely the opinion of this contributing writer and may not reflect the opinion of other writers, staff, or owners of Instinct Magazine.)


Sources: LGBT Nation, The Kansas City Star

2 thoughts on ““We Need To Be Heard!” Students Shout During Walkout”

  1. Blame the victim culture has to end. Clearly the students who are speaking up in support of the harassed students know far more about compassion and justice than the administration.

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