SMITHVILLE, Mo. -- A group of students at Smithville High School walked out of class Thursday morning in protest over the termination of their principal, Rudy Papenfuhs.
Among the violations of district policy, district leaders accuse Papenfuhs of:
- Texting students between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- Taking students to Chiefs games and Royals game
- Adding a student to his cell phone plan and insurance policy
- Making sexual comments and telling jokes that were sexual in nature to students
- Administering a prescription medication to one student
At about 9:30 a.m. students said they walked out of class, calling it 'uneventful' although they know they could face consequences. Some of them decorated their cars and wore shirts with the slogan "Free Pappy".
"It's worth it. It's for a good cause. It's what we believe in. We believe he's a good guy and deserves to be our principal," said one student who walked out.
The school released a statement about the walk-out:
Students have the right to express their dissatisfaction and support for Dr. Papenfuhs. It is important however that there are no interruptions to the educational environment.
The school is contacting parents and guardians to ensure they are aware of the student absences.
See some of the tweets in support of Dr. Papenfuhs. The hashtag being used in social media is #freepappy.
I'm so saddened by what's going on in our town right now. Kids should be learning & excited about homecoming. #freepappy
— Sherry Foley (@Sherry_Foley) September 25, 2014
I am proud of the Smithville Students for standing together. What a way to honor a great man! #freepappy
— Merideth Bailey (@meribailey77) September 25, 2014