March 7, 2018
Dear Parents, Guardians and Students of Harford County Public Schools,
In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, we understand that there are many raw emotions among our students. We are aware that there are national organizations encouraging students to walk out of school on March 14, 2018. We cannot condone students leaving classes during the instructional day to participate in this activity. It presents, paradoxically, a threat to student safety, as word of the walkout has been widely disseminated and students who go outside could become more vulnerable. We do not have adequate staffing and resources to supervise students who leave the school building to participate in a walkout.
Providing students with a voice on March 14 is important to us as a school system. Keeping students safe while they discuss their feelings surrounding the recent tragedy is our priority. We have prepared a learning module that will provide students with an opportunity to share their feelings about recent events across the nation and will allow them to speak about solutions in a structured way. This activity will take place on March 14 in secondary schools across the county at 10:00 a.m. This activity will provide a means for students of varying perspectives to engage in a positive dialogue while remaining in a safe and secure environment.
We ask for the assistance of parents and guardians as well as the understanding of students in seeing that the proposed walkout cannot be sanctioned. Students who leave buildings may be subject to disciplinary action for disrupting school operations.