Dear District 204 Community,
As we are seeing across the country, the tragedy in Parkland, Florida has created student interest in civic-led engagement efforts. Some of our high school students have expressed a desire to participate in the March 14 National School Walkout. District 204 respects studentsí First Amendment rights, and we will not discipline students for the act of peaceably assembling while exercising their freedom of speech on March 14. Our goal is to provide guidance to the high school student organizers and support the safety of our students and staff. We also have a limited number of middle school students who have expressed an interest in showing support for the Parkland students and we will provide guidance to help them determine a safe way to show their support. We are not supporting any walkouts for our elementary school students.
Student organizers at all of our high schools have shared with us that they are working together to plan peaceful demonstrations on March 14 at each high school. They are also planning voter registration drives and letter writing campaigns to elected officials. The demonstrations will last up to one class period and all students who participate must remain on campus during that time. Teachers will remain in classrooms for any students who choose not to participate. We will have an increased police presence on campus to focus on the safety of all participants.
Some parents have asked if they can be on campus for the walkout. For campus safety, we are limiting participation to our students. Any adults who show up will be asked to stand in a designated area away from students and will not be allowed in the school at any time.
As educators, we see this is a teachable moment for our students and we respect their desire to enact change. I would encourage you to have age appropriate conversations with your child around the Parkland tragedy and the March 14 walkout. As always, please don't hesitate to contact your principal should you have concerns about how your child is responding to news of the events planned for March 14.
Thank you for your continued support.