Some students face detention after walkouts; some don’t
Students across Long Island joined their peers from around the country Wednesday to walk out of class in an organized protest again gun violence -- and some faced stiffer penalties than others.
Vincent Fasano, a senior at Connetquot High School, says administrators punished him with three days of in-school suspension for taking part.
"We were basically punished for peacefully protesting," he says. "There was no malicious intent...It was simply to stand outside with the rest of the country and schools all over Long Island to generate a conversation."
At Hicksville Middle School, students say they were initially threatened with suspensions, but administrators later walked back the punishments.
"He said that I was going to be suspended, which later changed to in-school suspension and then to lunch detention," says Juliet, a student there. "And I didn't think that was going to happen, because I was just here to honor the kids who lost their lives in the Parkland shootings."
The rally took place one month after a massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead.
Civil rights advocates say some schools could face lawsuits if the punishments do not fit the crime.
Students can face disciplinary action for cutting class, says civil rights attorney Norman Siegel -- but not stiffer penalties because of the content of the protest.
Connetquot School Superintendent Lynda Adams told News 12 that the district warned parents and students that violators of the district's code of conduct would be disciplined accordingly.