Superintendent Message: Safety Plans for March 14

March 10, 2018

March 7, 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians:

It has come to our attention that some students are planning to participate in a National School Walkout against gun violence. The walkout is scheduled for March 14, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. for 17 minutes in honor of the 17 lives lost at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

We are proud of the student leaders in our school division who have come to us in advance to share their interest in participating.  While we are not supporting or endorsing a particular viewpoint, we respect students’ rights to express themselves and their interest in honoring the lives that were lost.

We are working closely with schools and have put a plan in place to ensure student safety.  Each school has designated a meeting location in advance and will have a plan in place for supervising students.  In addition, due to safety concerns, participation will be limited to enrolled students and staff.  The Suffolk Police Department will be present at each school for added security during this time.

Student Expectations

  • Students participating in the walkout must gather in the designated areas only. They may not roam the building or walk to any other part of the campus during this time.
  • Students are expected to conduct themselves appropriately and to follow school rules at all times.
  • If students are disruptive, violate school rules or leave campus during this time, they will receive a consequence aligned with School Board policy.
  • Students must return to class when directed.

Please note that while we are preparing for possible student participation in the National School Walkout at the middle and high school levels, we realize some elementary students may also express an interest in participating.  If this occurs, elementary schools will be directed to allow younger students to express themselves in a more age-appropriate manner.

Please be mindful that participation in the walkout is a decision between you and your child. At no time will students be compelled to participate or discouraged from doing so.  As a school division, our top priority on this day is student safety and minimizing the disruption to the school day.

Parents, please take a moment to discuss this with your child in advance and to reinforce school expectations at home. Thank you for your continued support and partnership.


Deran R. Whitney, Ed.D.