Three students at West Canada Valley banned from walking at graduation

By WKTV News

NEWPORT, N.Y. (WKTV) - After 13 years in the West Canada Valley School District, three students have been informed that they will not be eligible to walk at their graduation.
Michael Sternberg, Zach Woods, and Justin Victor have all be banned from walking at the ceremony due to an incident that took place on their class trip to Point Pleasant, N.J. 
"I've been waiting for this day for a while," said Victor. "I know my family is very upset about the whole not being able to walk the stage, and it bothers me not being able to do it with my friends that I grew up with and went to school with."
According to the students, they were just having fun on their trip, innocent fun, but the school has not taken the incident that way.
"We were in our rooms and knocking on the doors," said Sternberg. "The teacher said knock it off, so he yelled at us to open the door, and when we opened the door, he came in cussing us out."
While the students, and their parents are currently trying to fight the ruling and dismiss the ban, the school would not comment on the potential punishment.
"The West Canada Valley Central School traditionally does not discuss discipline matters with the media and will not start today, said Superintendent John Banek. "All disciplinary matters have a process. All disciplinary matters will only be discussed with the parents that are involved."
While the school is taking the incident very seriously, the parents believe that their children have been singled out, and robbed of the experience at the height of their high school careers.
"Behind a closed door, they picked two out of one room and one out of another that they thought they heard the loudest," said Kelly Woods, Zach's mother. "Only one chaperone was involved."
The students don't believe that their actions warrant the punishment they have been given, and the close-knit student community of West Canada Valley agrees.
The other students protested the decision with signs and by honking their cars on the last day of school in hopes that the administration would let the "entire class" graduate.

An appeal has been brought to the school board and a decision is expected to come about sometime this week. 

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