Everett And Mukilteo Schools Prepare For Student Walkouts

March 7, 2018

Everett Schools

walkout

The first scheduled walkout is next Wednesday March 14th.

Over the next couple of months there may be one, two or more walkouts by students following last month’s shooting in Parkland, Florida.

One large walkout that will affect schools in Everett and Mukilteo is expected next Wednesday March 14th. Here is a partial notice sent to MyEverettNews.com on March 2nd from organizers of a walkout at Everett High School:

March 14, 2018 marks one month since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 14 students and 3 staff members killed and left many others wounded or injured. Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkout for 17 minutes (in honor of the 17 lives taken in the tragedy in Parkland) at 10am across every time zone on March 14, 2018 to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods and our country.

We, the students at Everett High School, have decided that this moment is too crucial and this issue too urgent to stand idly by. Even here, as far as the West Coast, we have experienced and nearly experienced awful tragedies. Marysville-Pilchuck High School, less than ten miles away, suffered a school shooting on October 24th, 2014 that left 5 dead and another injured. Aces High School was nearly victim to a school shooting the morning following Parkland’s tragedy, less than eight miles away. On March 14th we will walk outside, in front of our main school building, for the 17 minutes allotted. This is followed by an educational teach-in during lunch hours.

On February 15th, Everett Schools sent the following notice to parents of Middle and High School students:

Dear families of middle and high school students:

We have learned students are being encouraged to coordinate and participate in student-led demonstrations on March 14 and April 20 to raise awareness about safety in schools. We understand that our students, like many in the nation, were distressed by the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

We respect students’ rights to freedom of speech and recognize student-led events can be powerful learning experiences in democracy. We want to ensure our students are safe and respectful. If students choose to participate in a demonstration at school, they should do so in designated places that present no hazards or disruptions to the school day.

Providing a quality education for all students in a safe learning environment is our highest priority. We encourage any student planning a student-led demonstration during the school day to notify and work with administration to ensure the safety of all students and adherence to district policies and procedures. As is standard, students who choose to participate in any student-led demonstrations will be marked tardy or absent, depending on how quickly they return to class.

The recent shooting at a high school in Florida and concerns about gun violence may be distressing to your child. Please talk with your child about how he/she is feeling about these issues. You may find the following resources helpful, and if you need additional support, please reach out to your child’s counselor or school administrator:

Keeping our schools safe places to learn and grow is a collective effort. A potential school shooting was recently prevented in a neighboring school district after a grandmother found some disturbing comments in her grandson’s journal and notified police. We encourage anyone who sees anything concerning or threatening to notify a responsible adult immediately or use the anonymous safety tip line: call or text 1-855-637-2095, email 1350@alert1.us, or website at http://1350.alert1.us.

We appreciate your continued support of student learning and your help in keeping school safe and support places for students, whether they decide to participate in a student-led demonstration or not.

Warm regards,

Gary Cohn, Superintendent

Also on Tuesday the Mukilteo School Superintendent sent out the following message to parents:

Dear Mukilteo School District Families,

With the tragic loss of life from a school shooting in Florida recently, groups across the nation are now planning student-led walkouts that will occur on several days during the coming months. Many of our students, especially at the high school level, will want to take part in these events because they will want to feel a part of making history and bringing about systematic change, while other students may not want to participate. It’s important that we honor both viewpoints and ensure that all students are respected no matter what they choose to do.

The Mukilteo School District will not endorse the walkouts and will operate its schools on normal schedules on those days. All attendance policies will continue to be followed. At the same time, however, we also recognize that students have the first-amendment right to express their views.

We anticipate that students at the elementary level will not be involved in these planned walkouts. Nevertheless, we have asked all of our building administrators that if they are approached by student leaders expressing an interest to participate in these events, that they should guide them in their planning so that there will be minimal disruption to the school day, students will remain on campus, and they will conduct themselves in a safe and respectful manner.

Events such as these can be powerful moments of civic education for students, so we encourage you to talk with your child about these planned protests and their participation.

Sincerely,

Marci L. Larsen, Ed.D. Superintendent



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About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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