In 2016, 14-year-old Cooper Caffrey was eating lunch in his school cafeteria when a student suddenly took a gun out of his backpack and shot him.
In 2018, 16-year-old Cooper Caffrey got detention for participating in a protest against school shootings.
In what could only be described as tragically ironic, Madison High School in Butler County, Ohio, punished the shooting survivor and 42 other students who walked out of their classes on March 14 to participate in the nationwide walkout day to honor the 17 lives lost in the senseless shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Instead of lauding the effort of these young students, the school decided to discipline them — despite the fact Madison High School was itself a site of shooting when 14-year-old James “Austin” Hancock opened fire with the gun he had stolen from his great-grandmother. Two students were injured in the shooting — Caffrey and Cameron Smith, who was unable to walk for weeks due to his injury.
“The whole purpose of a walkout is to protest against an establishment,” said the student’s dad, Marty Caffrey. “I do not expect the establishment to support the walkout.”
The thing is, Caffrey was not initially planning to walk out that day. However, he decided to participate after the principal reportedly told them the students who “disrupt the school” by protesting would be punished.
Later that day, the teenager and over 40 other students walked out into the school’s courtyard for 17 minutes — a minute for every Parkland victim — while the school resource officers ordered them to go back inside
Following the protest, school board President David French told the students they needed to apologize to the school resources officer during the Madison Local School District meeting.
"We are a society of rules," another board member said after Superintendent Curtis Philpot told them to expect another walkout in April along with the protest to mark the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.
The reaction of the school board hit the young shooting survivor pretty hard.
"It was like being shot all over again," Caffrey later told his father.
Moreover, the school officials also reportedly discussed the possibility of arming teachers during the meeting, completely ignoring the fact Caffrey was shot inside the school.
“We should come to every single one of these things so that doesn’t happen," the student responded.
He has now started a petition against arming school staffers.
A number of social media users have commended Caffrey for his bravery.
#CooperCaffrey you're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing. You stand up when you see wrong in the world! Thank you.— Rhonda Stanton (@rhondarealtor) March 30, 2018
I stand with Cooper Caffrey https://t.co/PLFTN1Gkpf— Whilstera (@teebenoit) March 30, 2018
Cooper Caffrey is a goddamn hero. https://t.co/utFRX5y2O4— Sugar & Spite ???? (@cooper_holly) March 30, 2018
like i know i live in another country so my words dont mean much but i support cooper caffrey— 23:58 (@linusashford) March 30, 2018