After District Sends Father Letter on School Walkout, Death Threats Start Rolling In


On Wednesday, students from schools across the nation participated in a “walkout” to protest the Second Amendment and National Rifle Association while demanding the passage of strict new gun control legislation.

According to the Independent Journal Review, one such school was the Hilliard Davidson High School in Hilliard, Ohio, which is alleged to have suspended a senior student named Jacob Shoemaker for refusing to take a side on the issue.

Rather than take part in the school-sanctioned walkout or move to an alternative “study hall” for those who wished not to participate, Shoemaker insisted he be allowed to remain in the classroom.

His refusal to follow administration instructions resulted in a suspension letter, which was posted online and went viral.

That’s when the death threats started coming.

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According to The Associated Press, Shoemaker felt the choices offered him by the school amounted to be forced to take a side in the political debate, which he felt had no place in the school setting.

“It’s the least political protest that exists. The thing that I was protesting was politics in the classroom. I feel it has no place in a school, in a district, anywhere,” Shoemaker told WSYX.

The student’s father, Scott Shoemaker, confirmed that the suspension was real and related how a friend had posted a picture of the suspension letter online, noting that they had been deluged with angry comments from confused people on both sides of the issue, even receiving death threats from a few unstable individuals.

Do you think a school setting is the proper place for heated political debates?

For its part, the school district insisted that the suspension had nothing to do with politics or the walkout and was instead centered around Shoemaker’s refusal to follow administration instructions, noting that it would constitute a safety issue for a student to be left unattended in a classroom.

WBNS reported that a spokesperson for the district essentially characterized the post attributing Shoemaker’s suspension to non-participation in the walkout as “fake news,” insisting that no students were disciplined for either choice in participating or not in the walkout.

Hilliard City Schools Director of Communications Stacie Raterman explained that students were given two choices on Wednesday: Participate in the walkout or join other non-participants in the school’s common area for an informal “study hall” period.

She further explained that school policy dictated that students could not be left unattended in classrooms for security purposes, hence their being forced to choose between two options.

The student, who didn’t want to be seen as taking either side in the debate, had insisted he be permitted to remain in the classroom and understood that he could face consequences for his actions, which at the time he assumed would not garner much attention.

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Though he stated that he was willing to accept the consequences of a suspension, his father felt the punishment doled out by the school was inappropriate.

“They’re good people,” the elder Shoemaker said of the district officials.

“They did what they felt they had to do,” he added. “I do not agree with the decision and I told them that.”

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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