St. Patrick Academy students suspended for participating in school walkout

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — While many school districts did not punish students for participating in school walkouts Wednesday, some students were suspended at a Providence Catholic High School for leaving school grounds.

According to the principal of St. Patrick’s Academy Bruce Daigle, several students from the school were suspended for leaving school grounds without permission. When two of the students refused to return to school grounds after being repeatedly told to do so, they were given a longer suspension.

Daigle said in a statement that the students’ actions violated the school’s policies:

The foundation for this policy, common to virtually all schools, is that the school is responsible for the health and safety of students during the school day and at all school-sponsored activities; leaving school grounds without permission places these students outside the protection of the school and makes it impossible for the school to meet its responsibility in this regard. Our disciplinary action in this situation mirrors our response in the past when other students have left school grounds without permission and/or showed a serious disrespect of school staff.

The administration at St. Patrick Academy takes great pains to make sure our students are safe and secure. We support all responsible and effective actions inside and outside our school to achieve this goal. In the aftermath of yet another tragic school shooting, we invited our students last week to propose and discuss with us meaningful and productive ways in which we can do this together.

Hundreds of students flocked to the State House Wednesday to participate in a rally hoping to put an end to gun violence in schools. Students in Rhode Island were participating in a national school walkout that was organized in the wake of the Parkland school shooting.

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