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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Kellogg High School graduation ceremony canceled over safety concerns from ‘outside agitators’

The Kellogg School District postponed Saturday’s high school graduation ceremony after a protest in support of a student banned from participating led to safety concerns over “a number of outside groups and agitators,” according to reports.

“When it is determined that the ceremony can be held safely, that information will be shared,” a Facebook post from the Kellogg Joint School District 391 stated Friday. “We regret having to make this very difficult decision but the safety of our staff, students, their families and local law enforcement is our top priority.”

Shoshone County Sheriff Holly Lindsey wrote Friday on the sheriff’s office Facebook page that deputies were present Friday for a student-led peaceful protest at Kellogg High School that day.

“We did receive word that a large number of protesters were coming from out of county to organize with our local cause; however, the group is known for violence during protests which is concerning,” Lindsey wrote. “In the last few days, KHS also received several phone calls threatening violence. Due to the threat of violence, the Kellogg School District made the decision to cancel tomorrow’s graduation.”

The school district and sheriff’s office could not immediately be reached for comment, including on the identity of the group.

KREM reported that the protesters gathered to support a student who had been barred from walking in graduation after he made comments about gender identity to the effect of “boys are boys and girls are girls, and there’s no in-between.” The station said the school indicated the boy was banned because his comments did not match the preapproved remarks he had submitted, not for their political content.

“This is a horrible situation for these kids and their families,” Lindsey added. “The community is divided over this and it’s devastating to watch.