April 18, 2018
Dear Parents and Guardians:
National advocacy groups concerned about school safety are promoting a second Student Walkout Day on Friday, April 20 beginning at about 10 a.m. It has come to our attention that Mohonasen students at the secondary level may be planning to participate to varying degrees in activities being promoted for Friday. Our understanding is that activities could range from missing school to attend an organized event to walking out of school at any given time that morning. The date of April 20 was selected by national organizers and social media groups to commemorate the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.
You may recall that the district involved students in a positive opportunity to express their civic engagement and concern about school safety on a school walkout day held on March 14. The district collaborated with students to organize speak-outs and other activities as an alternative to walking out of school. We are proud of the thoughtful and respectful conversations that occurred during the speak-outs. While several students chose not to attend and walked out on March 14, school staff members were able to supervise and manage the event because of the limited number of students involved and time of the activity.
Friday, April 20, however, is less predictable as school districts are uncertain about what students will choose to do. This has given us cause for concerns related to student safety. While we appreciate students’ desire for civic engagement, we want you to know that the district will not condone activities related to a student walkout on April 20.
To ensure student safety and to meet our obligations to preserve instruction for students, we will enforce our Code of Conduct, specifically the district Attendance Policy (District Code of Conduct, page 11) and Rules for Participation in Interscholastic Athletics (Athletic Code of Conduct, page 6) on Friday, April 20. Local and national walkout activities are not school-sponsored events and are considered “unexcused” absences. To review the above referenced policies, please visit the district website to view the District Code of Conduct and the Athletic Code of Conduct.
We encourage you to talk with your children about their intentions on Friday, April 20. We also ask for your support and cooperation to ensure students fully attend school on Friday. We suggest talking with your children about alternative advocacy activities such as initiating a letter-writing campaign to legislative representatives, holding approved voter registration drives in the school cafeteria or attending advocacy events outside of school hours to bring attention to school safety issues.
We thank you in advance for your understanding our concerns when we anticipate such an event.
Superintendent of Schools
Principal, Mohonasen High School
Principal, Draper Middle School