Cafe Today | 65 Local Students Suspended for Riding Bikes to School


Kenowa Hills Principle  Suspends 65 students from school!

Do these kids look dangerous or disruptive? ~  Photo Courtesy of WZZM TV

I know! My first thought was “What type of senior day shenanigans is this?”

Well, here is the story on these crazy senior student hooligans!

“The seniors were sent home Tuesday morning after they arrived at the school — a day when the graduating students traditionally get to make their final “walk” through the halls of Kenowa Hills High School.”  The time to say good-bye to all the teachers and staff.   The reason, riding bikes to school.

“The students had arranged their bicycle procession, which featured Walker ( Michigan) Police and the city’s mayor as escorts. Mayor Rob VerHeulen even brought doughnuts for the seniors.  Awe!

“I got the idea talking to one of my teachers,” said senior class president Zac Totten. “We ended up getting about 80 kids riding bikes to school.”

When the students pedaled into the high school parking lot they were met by principle Katie Pennington. She suspended the seniors, saying they violated warnings against pranks on their last day. May 22, 2012 was not a good day to be a senior at Kenowa Hills.  But!  But, what about getting more exercise?  A cardio plan ?  Fresh Air?  Graduating?

“We have defined it as a prank all along,” said Principle Katie Pennington. “They wouldn’t be tolerated and there would be consequences.”    Hey!  Did you not remember that the Mayor even brought donuts?  The police escorted the kids to school.  Prank, violation or a dangerous act?  What?

So what should have been a happy day for the Kenowa Hills senior students ended with enough criticism to invoke feelings of  “Oh my God!”  “Are we going to graduate?”   “What are we to do now?”    And so on.

Did the principle over react?  Of course she did.  Once parents, students and area residents viewed the video of the principle being  interviewed on local channel 13, WZZM TV, the phone calls began and a meeting was immediately planned.  The principle’s bit of arrogance showed through.  Principle Katie Pennington was in charge.  Well, she and the superintendent, whose son just happened to be one of those suspended seniors.   Hmmm!   All righty then!  She admits to over reacting to what she deemed a PRANK.   Bike riding a prank?  Does Webster know of this description?    Wikipedia?  The principle issued a statement saying she was informed of the seniors plan of riding bikes to school that day.  I considered it a Prank from the beginning and felt it was against policy and very disruptive, she stated to the news correspondent.  (Well, honey do not ever move to a retirement community where all those rowdy residents ride bikes and golf carts all day long!  You will find out what disruptive really means! :0)

Protests were held that evening with parents expressing deep feelings of  hurt, pain and generally expressed,  What was she thinking!  The principle did admit she over reacted and re-considered her actions.  No doubt!

Protesting Suspension ~ Photo Courtesy WZZM TV-13

” It wasn’t exactly an apology but, upon further review, administrators in Kenowa Hills Public Schools will not give any further punishment to dozens of graduating seniors who rode their bikes to school for the last day of classes.  In fact, the school administrators appear to be making amends for their initial reaction to Tuesday senior class “prank.”   The powers that be came to collective decision that the problem was not the students, it was the adults.  At Last!  An intelligent statement.

Way to Go Kenowa Hills!  Don’t expect the students to be kissing your feet in appreciation for the ‘right to graduate’ reprieve.

A few decades ago, the class helped disassemble a car from shop class and reassemble the car on the roof of the school.   We were so filled with pride and accomplishment.    Brings on a tear.   Sniff!   Ah!    Good Times!

To read more on the incident follow the link:

http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/212805/2/65-Grand-Rapids-area-students-suspended-for-riding-bikes-to-school

2 thoughts on “Cafe Today | 65 Local Students Suspended for Riding Bikes to School

  1. Wow…. what do you say to this? WOW! Yes, I know there has to be limits, but too many people are too quick to judge and do not allow children to just be children. And riding your bikes?? I don’t know. It is my understanding we should be attempting to push youngsters towards healthier decisions. This is leadership that concerns me.

    • You are so right. The principle did over react. She was determined to make an example and make it known she would put her foot down.
      We are here as teachers to the younger generation. Too late, she learned a lesson. Had she only stopped and really looked at the situation she would have recognized what they were doing. There is a lesson to be learned for all of us.

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