KANSAS CITY, Mo. — More than one hundred students from Lee's Summit High School held a peaceful protest Monday in response to a bullying incident at the school.
A tweet by Twitter user @GamerboyHourz said the students’ walk out was over the treatment of a fellow student.
In an interview with KSHB 41 News reporter McKenzie Nelson, Danny Lillis, a senior at the high school, said Monday morning's actions were about the school's lack of action regarding his reported incidents of being the target of bullying.
"We decided to do the walk out today to basically show movement towards our school an administration for the lack of action toward these repeated and multiple events that have been happening to me and my friends," Lillis said.
Lillis said he has been the target of bullying because he looks different from other students.
Friends of Lillis said they wanted to join the protest in support, after the bullying of Lillis went from verbal to physical.
Lillis told KSHB 41 that his friend Malani Hohlbaugh was punched in the face by one of his bullies last Wednesday after Hohlbaugh was standing up for Lillis.
"Honestly, the first time I've really been involved with it, was I was just standing up for my friend Danny who is constantly getting made fun of by the same people," senior Hohlbaugh said.
As a result of the fight, Hohlbaugh and Lillis said everyone involved was given out-of-school suspension for five days, resulting in each of them missing the school's homecoming. The five day suspension ends Thursday and the students will be allowed to return to school, but Lillis said he does not want to.
"I'm terrified to step another foot in that school. To walk into a building where someone had just punched my friend and broke her nose due to this whole situation," Lillis said.
The mother of Hohlbaugh told KSHB 41 that the family has not filed a police report at this time because it must first be reported to the school's resource officer. Hohlbaugh said she plans to meet with the resource officer once she returns from suspension.
In a statement to KSHB 41, the district said Monday morning it supported the students rights to voice their opinion.
"We support our students’ right to express their voice peacefully and are communicating with students about the best ways we can support them," the district said in the statement. "LSR7 is committed to supporting and working together with students to address their concerns with fairness, dignity and respect."
Hohlbaugh and Lillis said the statement is broad and doesn't fix the problem.
"It was a very broad statement and they don't seem to go in depth to the cause. They just want to push it under the rug. They just want to keep it quiet and I get that is how a lot of school systems are, but at the same time, we can't get things fixed if that's how it is," Hohlbaugh said.