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1997 | Woody Harrelson makes second visit to Simpsonville Elementary

Updated: Jan 19, 2019

Despite his failure to appear at Simpsonville Elementary a week prior, Woody Harrelson made a second visit to Donna Cockrel's class on On January 29, 1997. He was met by a group of parents outside the school who were protesting his visit. While he was only able to speak to students for a few minutes, the visit once again garnered national media attention from CNN.

Thirty-eight of the school's 480 students were kept home after learning about his second visit.

An article titled "PARENTS OBJECT TO HARRELSON---ACTOR BACK RALLYING FOR HEMP" published January 30, 1997 expressed the frusteration of Simpsonville Elementary School parents. See text below.

Notes from a long day on the hemp trail: Parents at Simpsonville Elementary School in Shelby County show that hemp is very much a four-letter word to them. Thirty-eight of the school's 480 students were kept home yesterday because actor Woody Harrelson was in the building talking about the cousin of marijuana that won't make you high. It's illegal to cultivate hemp in Kentucky; Harrelson wants to change that.

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 30, 1997, Lexington Herald-Leader

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