Cobb students ask school board for leniency in walkout discipline

Several Cobb County students who walked out of school to protest gun violence asked the school board Thursday to be lenient when doling out punishments and expressed disappointment with the district’s response to their demonstration.

Neither the board nor Superintendent Chris Ragsdale, who was awarded a one-year contract extension at the same meeting by a unanimous board vote, discussed what the consequence will be.  Unlike some other metro Atlanta districts, Cobb County School District said it would discipline students who walked out of school Wednesday as part of a nationwide protest sparked by the Feb. 14 Parkland, Fla. school shooting that killed 17 students.

"We hope that you will consider leniency when delivering our consequences, but know that we are not deterred," said Kara Litwin, a Pope High School senior. Walton High School walkout organizer Natalie Carlomagno said out-of-school suspensions would be "much more disruptive" than a 17-minute walkout.

Board member Susan Thayer was the only elected official to directly address the students who spoke: “We respect their opinions,” she said. ““I know this has been a frustrating week.”