Principal sorry for scolding biking seniors
Sixty-five seniors at Kenowa High School in Walker, Michigan, rode bikes to school on May 22 and received a mixed reception. Although the kids got a police escort and the mayor provided donuts, the school principal scolded the students and served them with suspensions.
In a cell phone video broadcast on local TV news, principal Katie Pennington was heard telling the students "If you and your parents don't have sense enough to know your brains could end up splattered on Three Mile and Kinney, Fruit Ridge, then maybe that's my responsibility."
Besides suspending them for the day, Pennington banned the students from the traditional senior walk around the school campus.
Principal Katie Pennington later apologized for overreacting out of concern for the students' safety as they biked on busy city streets. Although the students didn't have permission from school officials for the mass three-mile ride, they asked for and received a police escort.
At a school board meeting crowded with parents and student upset with Pennington's initial reaction, senior class president Zac Totten apologized to the principal and the superintendent for not informing them of the ride.
"My actions and emotion overshadowed what should have been a very positive senior activity," Pennington said, according to mlive.com. "I now applaud the students for their foresight in contacting the police department to ensure the safety of their senior surprise."
Pennington rescheduled the senior walk to make up for the one the suspended students missed.
The incident attracted national media attention, including a column on the environmental website Grist.org that read in part "Skipping lightly over the fact that a few dozen students riding bikes qualifies as a 'prank' rather than a 'Monday,' these kids actually deserve a lot of praise for organizing a group activity that's healthy for them, the planet, and the community, instead of just pulling fire alarms."
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