An Idaho school district has postponed its graduation ceremony indefinitely over what it says are fears of “outside groups and agitators”—days after the school penalized a senior for denying the existence of non-binary people during a recent assembly.
The Spokesman-Review reported that local law enforcement had received word that potentially dangerous demonstrators were en route from outside the Kellogg school district to support the student, whom the school barred from walking on graduation day following his remarks. The authorities also reported the school had received menacing phone calls warning of upcoming attacks.
“We did receive word that a large number of protesters were coming from out of county to organize with our local cause; however, the group is known for violence during protests which is concerning,” Shoshone County Sheriff Holly Lindsey wrote on Facebook. “In the last few days, KHS also received several phone calls threatening violence. Due to the threat of violence, the Kellogg School District made the decision to cancel tomorrow’s graduation.”
There is as yet no information on the specific organization the sheriff’s office fears appearing. But the school confirmed its decision on its own social media account.
“When it is determined that the ceremony can be held safely, that information will be shared,” a post made Friday reads. “We regret having to make this very difficult decision but the safety of our staff, students, their families and local law enforcement is our top priority.”
The decision followed a peaceful protest in support of the senior in question, who reportedly declared “Guys are guys and girls are girls, there is no in-between” at an event where graduates-to-be were supposed to share advice with their younger schoolmates. The Shoshone News-Press has reported that the school punished the student not for the substance of his remarks, but for disobeying instructions to remain on-script, though in some statements he has contested this.
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