Students hold walkout protest after Walled Lake school banned teen who was shot

Posted at 4:58 PM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 18:24:32-04

WALLED LAKE, Mich. (WXYZ) — Dozens of students walked out of class Thursday at Walled Lake Western High School to show support for a 17 year-old senior named Michael who is no longer allowed to return to school there.

Michael says he was shot in the arm last month while in Detroit. He says he was there to drop off clothes at a friend's house when he was shot by someone. He says he doesn't know who did it.

School officials told Michael he couldn't return because they were concerned about retaliation and feared for the safety of students and faculty.

However, students like Aaliyah Lewis say they're not worried about their safety and believe it is unjust to keep Michael out of school.

"He should be allowed to come back in here and graduate with (the) 2019 class," Lewis said. "There's just a couple months left. Just go ahead and let him do it."

Lydia Kramer came to the protest from Walled Lake Central High School. She says she's known Michael since middle school.

"I feel like he's being punished for something he shouldn't be punished for," Kramer said. "He should be allowed to graduate, go to prom... those are things everybody should be able to do."

Michael says he's grateful for the show of support. He's been taking online classes, but says what he wants more than anything is to at least be able to walk with his class at graduation.

"I don't feel as if I should not be able to walk with my class," Michael said. "That's heartbreaking for my grandmother, my mom, my sisters, my dad to not be able to see me walk across the stage because I was the victim of something."

We reached out to Ken Gutman, the superintendent of Walled Lake Consolidated Schools.

He sent Action News this statement:

We respect our students' rights to a peaceful protest and appreciate the way they handled themselves. We had some students leave the building and thank our law enforcement; Wixom Police and the Sheriff's Department for keeping them safe. The majority of students returned to the building and are in class.

He also told Action News that he doesn't anticipate any discipline taken against the students who participated in the walkout. He says the protest does not change Michael's status.

Gutman also confirmed two other students who were with Michael when he was shot are also not allowed to return to school. They are completing their coursework online as well.