Farmington, MN Public Schools Statement on 17-Minute Student Walk-Out


I think Farmington Public Schools is doing a damn good job in providing safety, understanding, and support, but also standing by their unexcused absence rules. It’s the kind of scalpel based decision-making that many organizations do not understand, many times, due to the necessity for a one-size-fits-all policy, afraid of litigation.

Here is the letter emailed to parents, from the district, in full:

Dear Parents and Families,

February’s tragic school shooting in Florida made a significant impact on school communities across the nation. While we have emergency practices and updated safety features in place at each of our schools, many are still wondering what more can be done.

Students have been especially active in speaking out on the issue of school safety, organizing a number of student-led activities around the country in response to the shooting. We are aware students are planning a 17-minute walkout on Wednesday, March 14th.

Though the walkout is not a school sponsored activity, we, as a district, support students who wish to participate in a peaceful protest; we also support those who do not wish to participate. However, the best way for us to ensure your child’s safety during the school day is to know where they are. We expect all students to stay on school grounds during school hours.

On Wednesday, each of our buildings will have a designated space where students can assemble peacefully while under constant supervision of building staff. Students should understand that if they choose to leave class to participate in the peaceful protest, they will be marked unexcused for the missed portion of the school day. As with any unexcused absence, students are expected to make up any missed work. Classes will continue during this time and all students are expected to promptly return to their designated classrooms after this brief event.

We encourage families to have open conversations with their students about expectations and participation in such events. If you or your student have questions, please connect with your building principal.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Sincerely,

Farmington Area Public Schools

Comments

  1. brucegee1962 says

    Our system had a similar letter. They also added the useful sentence:

    “Harassment of students whether they participate or choose not to participate in the walkout will not be tolerated.”

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