Urban Planet Weird Wednesday: US school suspends cycling students

Weird Wednesdays on Urban Planet takes a look at obscure, absurd, and curious things about cities around the world.

At my high school (and most others, I’d assume), senior pranks were a rite of passage that always ended up with at least a little wanton destruction of school property — pulling the fire alarm has become so boring.

But last month, seniors at Kenowa Hill High School in Walker, Michigan decided to take a positive approach to the senior prank and organize a 3-mile bike-to-school parade for the last day of class. Walker police provided an escort to keep the cyclists safe and even the mayor of Walker joined in on the parade and handed out doughnuts to participants.

However, once they arrived at the school, the principal and other school staff chided the 64 students, suspending them and threatened to keep those involved from participating in the graduation ceremonies.

“If you and your parents don’t have sense enough to know your brains could end up splattered on Three Mile and Kinney, Fruit Ridge, then maybe that’s my responsibility. Get your butts home. You’re not participating in senior walk today.”

The story gained national attention that night, and parents expressed outrage over the students’ punishment. The school’s superintendant folded and allowed the suspended students to make up the finals exams that were missed because of the suspension and on the following day the principal issued an apology to students for her overreaction and scheduled another senior walk for students who weren’t able to attend.

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photo by Kevan