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Kellogg High School postpones graduation due to safety concerns

More than 30 students walked out Friday in protest of a disciplinary decision for one of the seniors. As a result, Saturday's graduation ceremony is postponed.

KELLOGG, Idaho — The Kellogg School District released a statement Friday canceling the graduation ceremony set for Saturday due to safety concerns for students, staff and families.

More than 30 Kellogg High School students walked out Friday in protest of a disciplinary decision for one of the seniors. Administrators say that student made unapproved comments about gender and, as a result, will not be allowed to walk at graduation.

As a result of Friday's protest, however, Saturday's graduation ceremony is being postponed.

"The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office has informed the Kellogg School District of concerns regarding the safety of students, staff and families due to a number of outside groups and agitators," the district said in a Facebook post.

The ceremony will be rescheduled "when it is determined that the ceremony can be held safely."

It all started with one sentence at the end of the year assembly.

"The seniors got to say one piece of advice, or one thing they wanted to tell the rest of school, and he said, 'Boys are boys and girls are girls, and there's no in between,'" said Jaeger Hall, a junior at Kellogg High School. "We could see on the face of some of the teachers they weren't happy with his comment."

Students participating in the assembly were supposed to submit their speeches for approval beforehand. However, the school says the student in question read a different speech when he took the stage.

The next day, that student was told he was no longer allowed to walk at graduation because he broke the rules.

"The Kellogg High School administration firmly believes in the rights of all students and strives to provide a safe, nurturing environment where students are challenged to demonstrate individual responsibility, attain academic excellence, achieve personal success and involve themselves in lifelong learning activities," the district said in a statement.

Members of the Kellogg community also showed up to Friday's protest. In total, more than 100 people gathered outside the high school, claiming the school is restricting the student's right to free speech.

"I think it was successful for us getting at least our point across that we should have a stand and a say," said Korn Leeling, a junior at Kellogg High School. "I feel that we also didn't win because I feel as though they aren't going to let him walk and I think he should be able to walk."

Superintendent Lance Pearson says the students who walked out Friday will be marked as absent with no excuse. Even with the walkout and protest, Pearson says the student will still be barred from participating in the graduation ceremony.

Once a date is set for the rescheduled graduation ceremony, that information will be shared by the district.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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