He Was Shot in School in 2016. Now, Punishment for a Protest

Cooper Caffrey gets detention for March 14 student walkout
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2018 10:02 AM CDT
He Was Shot in School in 2016. Now, Punishment for a Protest
Cooper Caffrey got "pissed" when students were told not to disrupt things on March 14.   (Getty Images/vasiliki)

It shouldn't be surprising that a survivor of a school shooting might want to demonstrate against gun violence in schools—but maybe a little bit surprising that his school would punish him for it. That's the plight of Cooper Caffrey, a sophomore at Madison High School in Ohio, where he took part in a student walkout that transpired at schools across the nation on March 14. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that 16-year-old Caffrey, who was shot in the stomach in 2016 while eating chicken nuggets in the school cafeteria, received detention, along with 42 other students, for the protest earlier this month. Caffrey was one of two boys shot by fellow student James "Austin" Hancock, who'd stolen his great-grandmother's gun; two others were hurt after being struck by shrapnel or while running, per the AP.

Cooper originally had no intention of protesting on March 14, especially since the student council had agreed with the administration it wouldn't seem "unified" to protest in favor of gun control (the area is a rural GOP stronghold). But then the principal made an announcement that anyone who disrupted the day would get punished, and Cooper got angry at being told how he could react, as he texted his dad—so he and a few dozen others walked out. One person who supports Cooper's detention: his dad, Marty, who says he gets that the school wants to keep students safe. "The whole purpose of a walkout is to protest against an establishment," he wrote in a Facebook post. "I do not expect the establishment to support the walkout." Read the 2017 Enquirer story on how Cooper dug deep after he was shot and forgave the boy who shot him. (More school shootings stories.)

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