Eighteen-year-old Sawyer Shepherd is a senior and baseball player at Missouri’s Carthage High School. He’s also an avid hunter, which landed him in trouble last week. After a morning turkey hunt, Shepherd put his disassembled shotgun in a case under the front seat of his truck. He then got ready for school, but forgot his gun in his truck.
When school officials were alerted to a possible gun on campus, Shepherd admitted there was a shotgun in his vehicle. Police declined to press charges, as no laws were broken. But school administrators suspended Shepherd for 10 days—jeopardizing his graduation.
While officials struggle with the right decision, students have made their position clear. They’re rallying around Shepherd using the hashtag #FreeShep and holding gatherings in his support. District Superintendent Blaine Henningsen says a final punishment has yet to be determined, but hopes to have the issue resolved this week.