Two quotations have swirled around in my mind over the last weeks:
“From Parkland, Florida….to Los Angeles, California…. so far in just two months, six communities have been impacted by school shootings with injuries or deaths. Sixty-three casualties, twenty people dead in or at schools —16 students and four adults—just 45 days into 2018….” – #Neveragain statement from Vancouver Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Webb from February 26, 2018.
March 14 has been determined by many groups locally and nationally as a “Day of Action”. For some organizations, this means a “walk out”.
At River, our aim is to engage students in dialogue and sustain this movement to a better, more peaceful world. We have established guidelines that we have developed with our Associated Student Body Leadership and with the Principal’s Advisory Council in meetings on February 16th, 20th and March 2nd and 6th. We will share the options with our student body and our community before the end of this week.
We will publish an assembly schedule that will allow for students to engage in organized, and supervised activities. We are a closed campus. Planned activities will take place in our regular meeting spaces such as the gym, commons and Media Center. There will be no outside speaker presentations. We will adjust instructional time to accommodate some activities and a “moment of quiet reflection”. If students choose not to participate, we will accommodate those wishes.
- Activities planned for the morning will enable all students to participate or to option-out. Students will be provided time and space to participate in a meaningful way. (This may be sitting quietly, registering to vote, or drafting a letter.)
- Activities planned for the morning will be inclusive and facilitated with every effort made to recognize divergent points of view and to provide opportunity for exploration into all sides of the issues that arise.
Public schools and our democratic process unite us in possibility. Never doubt.