Dear Brisbane School District Community,
I wanted to communicate out to the community on the Brisbane School District’s
official response to political action that is being organized around the nation related
to gun violence.
I know many of you join me in your personal support of efforts to organize and
peacefully protest. I am sure that you are also, like me, sensitive to the youth in our
district and our role to be politically neutral.
There are three newsworthy national protests identified at this point in time. Below
is a description of each planned event. After each event, I have included official
direction as to how we are going to respond as a district.
March 14, 2018: National School Walkout:
Enough: National School Walkout: Organizers are encouraging teachers, students,
administrators, and others to walk out of class for 17 minutes beginning at 10:00
a.m. This event is intended to be 100% student driven and organized.
Official Direction: As a District, we believe in the students’ rights to free speech and
we will provide staff members on our playground to supervise any students who
choose to exercise this right. Teachers will remain in their classrooms unless called
upon for supervision. Students are to remain on campus.
March 24, 2018: March For Our Lives
March for Our Lives: protest in Washington DC and other cities, including San
Francisco and San Jose. Additional protests might be held in San Mateo County.
Organized by students from Parkland, Florida, “March for Our Lives is created by,
inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their
lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school
shootings that has become all too familiar.”
Official Direction: As this is a Saturday event, there is nothing the district needs to
do to plan or prepare. Often times, political topics fit into the curriculum of a
particular grade under the topic “civics”. The role of the school district is that of
education and not to impart any of our personal beliefs upon the students.
April 20, 2018: National High School Walkout
National High School Walkout for Anti-Gun Violence. Student-organized walkout
commemorating the 19th anniversary of the Columbine campus shooting. Some
organizers are calling for students to stay out of school until “their demands are
met” (ie. gun laws are changed).
Official Direction: As this event is focused, at least right now, on high schools and it
calls for kids to actually “walk out of school” and not return until congress updates gun laws, it does not apply to the Brisbane School District and we cannot support
students missing school. This event is beyond the district’s ability to provide
support for “safe and peaceful protests that don’t unduly disrupt the school day.”
The District is understanding of the sensitive nature of the horrific event at the
Florida High School and understands that this topic can be very alarming to many of
our students. I want to assure you that we are talking about this in age-appropriate
ways with our student body. At times, this means not talking about it at all. Schools
should focus their discussion on the safety plans at our schools and our protocols in
case of any emergency. As with any emergency, the staff at each school will monitor
the students concerns and act appropriately to ease any stress or tension that may
arise in any of our students.
Thank you for your time,