Fact Check: Yes, a Student Was Suspended for Not Participating in the Walkout

The media loves fact checking almost as much as it loves lying.

Whenever there's a story unfavorable to its narrative, it rolls out fake fact checks that spin or lie about what happened. An event unfavorable to its narrative happened when Jacob Shoemaker, an Ohio high school student was suspended for refusing to participate in the events arising from the anti-gun walkout.

An Ohio high school student said he tried to stay apolitical during the National Walkout Day over gun violence but was suspended for his choice to remain in a classroom instead of joining protests or the alternative, going to study hall.

Jacob Shoemaker, a senior at Hilliard Davidson High School, said he didn’t want to take sides in the gun-control debate consuming the country. If he went outside for the walkout, he said, he would be supporting gun control. If he stayed in the common area of the school, he said, he would be seen as supporting gun violence and disrespecting the 17 lives lost in the Parkland, Fla. High school shooting the month before.

Jacob had met with the school’s principal on Tuesday, a day before the rally, for about an hour to find out what exactly the walkout was supporting. But he said the principal reportedly told him it was for the “students to express themselves.”

This left Jacob wondering if it was a memorial for the lives lost or a show of support for gun control.

He decided, instead, to stay in class for about 20 minutes doing homework after his teacher and fellow classmates left and locked the door.

When they returned, he was slapped with a suspension.

Jacob’s father, Scott Shoemaker, said his son was just trying to stay neutral – and did nothing wrong.

“Politics [doesn’t] belong in the school,” he said. “Students shouldn’t be pressured into taking a side.”

That's a purely factual report from Fox News. And here's the fake news spin from the Washington Post.

A student was suspended after staying in class and not walking out. Here’s what actually happened - Washington Post

Spoiler alert. That's exactly what actually happened.

The Amazon rag pretends that it's somehow disproving the story, when all it does is reaffirm it. Nevertheless the Post insists, "But that story isn’t exactly true."

Jacob Shoemaker, a senior at Hilliard Davidson High School in Hilliard, Ohio, was in fact suspended. But not because he chose not to join his classmates and the hundreds of thousands of students across the country who walked out of their classrooms to protest gun violence in the wake of a Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead. It was because he didn’t go to a designated area of the school where the non-protesters were supposed to be, and instead stayed by himself in a classroom.

The reason he stayed in the classroom was because he didn't want to participate in a political event, either by walking out or joining those who didn't want to walk out. It was the political event that disrupted the classroom. Shoemaker opted out of it.

The suspension slip pretty clearly states the school's excuse that is the basis for WaPo's spin. There's no new information in its story. Just spin.

Another version of the spin has school officials insisting absurdly, “We purposely let these students create these events to allow students to mourn and to avoid the politics, and now here we are getting taken to task for this,” Raterman said. “It’s a bit of a shame.”

A walkout is not a memorial. They're two very different things.

Walkouts are political. And there would have been no need for students to opt out of an actual memorial.

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