EDITOR’S NOTE: 13 News has learned that Knotts was never expelled. Superintendent William Hosaflook says an expulsion must go to a meeting to decide if a student is expelled.
The story is updated to reflect these changes.
UPDATE (8:04 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25): The Jackson County Board of Education voted Tuesday to allow Riley Knotts to come back to school.
In a video, Knotts is seen telling the audience, “I’ll see y’all in school on Monday,” which is followed by applause.
Jackson County Schools Superintendent William Hosaflook released a statement regarding Knotts:
The question is simple, follow the law or do not follow the law. We are required
to follow The WV School Law book, which contains roughly 962 pages of school laws
Unfortunately, we have had people, of course, not all people, belittle and berate
board members, students, and administrators of our school system with false
information gathered from the People’s Law book- also known as Facebook, which is
their intent to fill people’s minds with false information to get unwarranted reactions.
These believers want to talk about how unfair the school system is, but on the other
hand, want us to totally disregard state law and policies by which we are governed: only applying the law on a case-by-case basis. In my book, this is the classic definition of a hypocrite. Schools are continually chastised on social media outlets for “sweeping things under the rug,” but in reality, nothing is swept under the rug but kept confidential by the laws we must follow as established by the state of WV.
What is even more frustrating is our young students are watching….as adults
consumed by nonfactual and untruthful information, utilizing a social media platform to spread blatant misinformation to create an unstable learning environment for our students.
More appalling to me, are the social media posts attacking students who did what
they have been taught to do. “See or hear something? Say something.” Tell an
administrator or a law enforcement officer immediately. What message are we sending
to our students when Facebook posts by adults attack our students for speaking up
when something is not right?
I would like to extend our gratitude for the support given to all our students, staff,
administrators, and Board members during this process. The kind words, patience, and
trust in character for all involved have been heard and felt. We are very fortunate that
this incident was not deleterious in nature. We are also very fortunate to have a Board
of Education that methodically studies the facts of each case and applies pertinent
policies and laws to make informed decisions.
Finally, we have dealt with two situations this year in our school system that
continue to be reported with untruthful information. I wish I could tell you the honest
facts in all disciplinary cases, but I cannot, which is a very hard part of my job.
Please know that what is being reported by media outlets and social mediaWilliam Hosaflook, Jackson County Schools Superintendent
outlets continues not to have all of the facts.
RIPLEY, WV (WOWK) — Riley Knotts, a senior at Ripley High School who was banned from school property after a gun was in his grandfather’s car on campus, was flanked by hundreds while he and his grandfather went to the school in a horse-drawn carriage ahead of an expulsion meeting.
Knotts was banned from school property after a gun was found in his grandfather’s car on school property. According to family members and friends, he was banned from all Jackson County schools for a year as a result of the incident. The disciplinary action taken meant he couldn’t attend senior prom last weekend, and he will not be able to attend graduation next month.
Almost everyone showing up for Knotts – which included family, friends, West Virginia state troopers, Jackson County deputies and Ripley officers – wore red, Knotts’ favorite color.
The expulsion meeting will decide whether or not Knotts will be allowed to go back to school and attend graduation in May. Friends and family say they hope it will get dropped because of his character.
There is also a petition in honor of Knotts called “We Stand for Riley Knotts.” To see the petition, click here.
13 News will keep you updated on the latest with the meeting.