The Decorah Community School District (DCSD) recently issued a statement allowing the participation of students in the National School Walkout, Wednesday, March 14.
The walkout is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. and will last 17 minutes to honor the 17 students and staff members who were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day.
The DCSD released the following statement to the community:
“While students, staff members, parents and community members have been deeply moved by the recent tragedies in schools throughout the country, there are widely held and differing opinions about how the nation should react. Many conversations are currently taking place and are often political in nature.
Our students also are having related conversations and some have shared that they are planning to participate in the nationwide walkout. The administration is working with student leaders and leadership groups to discuss ways they can provide the students avenues to express their opinions while remaining on school grounds. The school’s goal will be to provide them with an opportunity to engage, learn and express them in a safe manner that is respectful of the school environment and all perspectives.
Should any of our students choose to participate in a peaceful student walkout, the following support will be provided:
• Allow those students who are interested to walk out peacefully
• Encourage respectful and civil behavior
• Administrators will facilitate the walkout so it is carried out in an organized and safe manner
• Students are subject to school rules during their participation in any form of public protest if their actions are not respectful and civil
• Students who participate in the walkout on March 14 are expected to remain in the designated area on school grounds, be civil and respectful of others and return to class at the end of the walkout.
As educators, we know we play a critical role in the creation of welcoming learning environments in which students feel free to engage in the learning process regardless of their personal beliefs. We also know we are responsible to set and example for our students by the ways in which we respect varying viewpoints and encourage student dialogue without interfering or influencing through our words or actions or by inhibiting any student from expressing a view point that may be contrary to that of other individuals. We encourage you to talk with your son or daughter about the national walkout and the related issues. Dialogues of this type provide valuable learning opportunities for all involved. Again, our primary goal is to provide a safe and respectful environment for our students to express their beliefs. Thank you for your support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.”