Students show support for suspended Smithville principal - KCTV5 News

Students show support for suspended Smithville principal

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SMITHVILLE, MO (KCTV) -

Despite allegations against their principal, kids at Smithville High School are standing up for the man they call “Pappy.”

Dr. Rudy Papenfuhs is on leave while the school and police investigate a slew of allegations against him. He's accused of giving one student prescription medicine and showing another student a sexually-explicit video as well as making various inappropriate comments and jokes. He's also accused of taking students to Kansas City Chiefs and Royals games as well as buying a student a car.

While Papenfuhs faces the claims, students are standing by him.

"He's just an amazing person, biggest heart and would do anything for anybody," said sophomore Mickey Medlock.

The student body's support for Papenfuhs is evident. Hashtag #freepappy has taken over social media and it's taken over the town.

Papenfuhs remains on paid leave, accused of repeatedly violating district policies. News of his suspension sent a shock wave through the school.

"These allegations are pretty much saying that he's helped people and he shouldn't be ridiculed for that, he should be praised," said junior Max Nicholas.

Nicholas and his friends organized a walk out Thursday morning to show support and continued their efforts all day. They peacefully professed their pride in a principal they believe cares more about relationships than rules.

"He morally did some things that were against the school policy but I don't think, in my opinion, were very big of a deal," said junior Brandon Sweeney.

The students say they will continue their efforts until they know they can do no more.

"I believe if enough people come out here and show their support that we will make a difference," said junior Bailey McPherson.

The students plan to wear their "free pappy" T-shirts at Homecoming this weekend.

The student who says he received the prescription medication from Papenfuhs called KCTV5 Wednesday night to share his side of the story.

“He didn't offer. I asked for it because there was a bump on my forehead and it's been there for two years and he let me use it. He had skin cancer, so he let me use it and it went away,” Ty Hossman said.

Hossman said Papenfuhs also gave him some allergy medicine and told him it was non-prescription. He said he's thankful to the principal for helping him and his mother said she agrees.

Papenfuhs will have a hearing with the school next month at which time they'll decide what action to take.

KCTV5's Jeanene Kiesling reporting.

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