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1997 | Parents protest against Woody Harrelson's second scheduled visit

Updated: Jan 19, 2019

In the months following Woody Harrelson's first visit, Simpsonville Elementary School had adopted a new visitors policy for “controversial” topics, requiring an advanced approval by school administration and written consent by students' parents before presentations.
This policy was put to use when, during the next school year, when Donna Cockrel informed the school Principal that Harrelson would be making a second visit to her classroom to once again discuss industrial hemp. Cockrel met all of the requirements of the new visitors policy, providing advanced notice to the school Principal and obtaining permission from the parents of her students for their children to attend the presentation.
See article above from the The Hour.
See article above from the The Hour.
The principal did not attempt to discourage her from having another class presentation on hemp, nor did he tell her that Harrelson should not be invited back to the school.  
According to Donna Cockrel, Shelby County School Superintendent told her earlier in the school year, that it would not be in her best interests if Harrelson made any more visits to her class.  
While Harrelson was unable to attend on the day of his scheduled visit, a small group of parents, unaware that Harrelson was not coming, went to the school and “loudly voiced their objections” to a second visit.

Click the links below to learn more about the Harrelson and Cockrel trials:

1996 | Woody Harrelson speaks at Simpsonville Elementary

1996 | Woody Harrelson arrested for planting hemp in Kentucky

1996 | Donna Cockrel investigated after Woody Harrelson hemp presentation

1996 | Kentucky Hemp Museum & Library launches mobile exhibit

1996 | Woody Harrelson launches hemp essay contest

1996 | School trys to revoke Donna Cockrel's teaching certificate

1996 | Woody Harrelson defends Donna Cockrel

1996 | Woody Harrelson announces hemp essay winners

1996 | Charges dismissed against Woody Harrelson for Kentucky hemp planting

1997 | Kentucky Hemp Museum takes Harrelson, Cockrel and essay winner to movie premiere

1997 | Parents protest against Woody Harrelson's scheduled second visit

1997 | Court finds statute "overbroad" after Harrelson charges are dismissed

1997 | Woody Harrelson makes second visit to Simpsonville Elementary

1997 | Parents want Donna Cockrel fired after second Woody Harrelson hemp presentation

1997 | School Evaluation Claims Donna Cockrel Fails to Meet Performance Requirements

1997 | Kentucky General Assembly Hears Testimony On Hemp

1997 | Donna Cockrel is fired from Simpsonville Elementary

1997 | Woody Harrelson issues statement regarding Donna Cockrel's termination

1998 | Cockrel files suit against Shelby County schools

1998 | Farmers sue to overturn ban on hemp

2000 | Kentucky Supreme Court rules no distinction between hemp and marijuana

2000 | Woody Harrelson acquitted of hemp charges

2001 | Court reverses decision in Donna Cockrel vs. Shelby County schools

2003 | Donna Cockrel receives $70,000 settlement



January 24, 1997, Lexington Herald-Leader

January 23, 1997, The Hour

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