Dear McKinley Families,
The recent tragedy in Florida, and other losses of life on school campuses across the nation over several years, have driven increased interest in student-led civic engagement efforts and actions including the idea of student walk-outs.
Our district supports students’ Constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and free expression, and recognizes the rights of parents/guardians to remove students from school to participate in parent/guardian supervised walk-outs; however, cannot endorse student walk-outs. In addition, the proposed protests are supposed to be student-led.
We’ve discussed this at McKinley and explored the issue in greater depth at our recent School Governance Team (SGT) meeting last Tuesday. SGT is comprised of an equal number of elected staff and parent representatives who meet monthly. During the course of our discussion, we met and communicated our collective concerns regarding gun violence. We further explored how we wanted to approach this as a school and we decided to support the development of a peaceful assembly with students on September 21st, 2018, which is International Day of Peace. Details on that event will be posted in the Fall when we return to school.Conversations with my elementary admin colleagues resulted in similar approaches being established on their respective campuses.
Should your child choose to participate in the walk-out, I’ll be available in the lunch arbor to meet and chat with those students. We will focus those 17 minutes on reflection and honoring the students lost in Florida and further explore how they are willing to take action to address this issue. That opportunity will allow interested students to speak with me in a peaceful and productive fashion.
Those students who choose to participate will not be disciplined for participation, however students will not leave campus so we can ensure the safety of all students.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org