Shawnee Mission West NJROTC cadets say they were targeted with rocks at homecoming parade

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- NJROTC students from Shawnee Mission West say a joke went too far. Those students say rocks were thrown at them while they marched in the homecoming parade.

The NJROTC uniform represents pride for Arianna Hilger, but others saw it as a target.

“This one girl, she got hit in the face a couple of times. One kid got a bruise on his leg,” she said.

It’s a tradition for the NJROTC to lead the Homecoming Parade. This year, the cadets marching were pelted with stones.

“At first they thought it was like they could’ve kicked a pebble up or something, but then they saw a group of students and realized they were being hit by rocks,” said Hilger.

She joined freshman year and is now the cadet chief petty officer. Different types of rocks were thrown at the students, from penny to golf ball sized.

Cadets are taught not to break formation and to look forward while marching. That means they couldn’t identify who threw the rocks. The Shawnee Mission School District investigated, found the students involved, and took disciplinary action.

“The intention wasn’t to hurt the students, it was to be funny I think,” she said.

She said assault of any kind of no laughing matter. Hilger said the NJROTC is considering pulling out of next year’s parade.