BATH TOWNSHIP — Due to confusion on social media and public outcry concerning a student-led walkout at Bath High School, student and event organizer Tristam Cheeseman has decided to cancel the event.
Cheeseman, who is currently running as the Democratic write-in candidate for Ohio’s 4th House District, had created a Facebook page around the event, “Bath Highschool Walkout”, and had used the school’s official logo as the page’s logo.
Cheeseman said the name and logo had confused individuals who thought the school was sponsoring the event.
Bath Local Schools left a statement on their own Facebook page after getting some concerned calls from community members.
“Yesterday there was a social media posting using our school name and logo demonstrating support for the National Student Walkout coming up on April 20th. No school employee posted this, and Bath Local Schools will not support this walkout.”
Bath High School was aware of the event and had communicated with Cheeseman about the voluntary walkout.
The situation, however, created an uproar on Facebook. Some comments became vitriolic, and Cheeseman has since deleted the page.
A National School Walkout is scheduled for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the school shootings in Columbine.
“We are empathetic to what is going on as far as Florida and across the nation as far as school shootings and security with schools,” Bath Superintendent Rich Dackin said. “From the walkout in March that was sponsored, we did not have any participants, and now this walkout in April is asking for a walkout for the entire day, which we do not support.”
Cheeseman said he began to organize the rally to advocate for school safety.
“I had to take it down because of the amount of hate and threats to it,” Cheeseman said.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.