March 14 Walkout Letter Information
March 12, 2018
Dear Caleb Families,
In light of most the most recent school shooting tragedy in Florida, students across the nation are working to find constructive ways to deal with the aftermath of this event and others like it. This Wednesday, March 14 students across the country are planning to participate in National School Walkout Day for 17 minutes with Florida students to call for safer schools and to remember the 17 victims who lost their lives. I’m writing to share with you our plans at Caleb Greenwood to participate in this event and support our students.
I recognize that there are widely held and differing opinions about how the nation and individuals should react to this tragedy, and as an elementary school we must consider the ages of our children and adapt the message to age-appropriate concepts. Due to the sensitivity of this topic, it is critical that you as parents are the ones to decide how, when and to what degree you expose your children to details about these kinds of tragedies. We respect the individual differences among families and want to assure you that Caleb staff is fully committed and prepared to maintain focus on age-appropriate discussion and concepts. And we will continue to make certain that all students feel safe and respected.
We have arranged for our first, second and third grade students to participate in a “Standing Up for Kindness” Morning Sing on Wednesday morning with Mrs. Fitzpatrick at 8:05am. The message we share will be that children all over the country are standing up for kindness, so we are joining them through song. During this Morning Sing, we will not address the national walkout, school shootings (Florida or elsewhere), or guns. We will sing three songs, the lyrics to which can be found on the back of this letter. Classroom teachers are making individual decisions about classroom-based kindness activities. If you have any concerns about your child participating in this Morning Sing or classroom-based kindness activities, please email your child’s teacher or me and we will make alternate arrangements for your child.
All students will have the option to walk out to our track at 10:00am. Caleb staff will neither encourage nor discourage student walkouts, nor will we prevent or discipline students if they do. Teachers in the primary grades (kinder through third) will not initiate conversations about the walkout, but are prepared to appropriately address discussion initiated by students. Teachers in the intermediate grades (fourth through sixth) will talk with their classes and provide students with guidance about how to safely and appropriately exercise their right to walk out should they choose to do so. Students who choose to walk out for the designated 17 minutes will be directed to report to our track, where Mrs. Cordero and I will be present to support and supervise them. Students who do not choose to participate may remain in classrooms and conduct normal activities.
Parents are more than welcome to join our activities on Wednesday. Primary Morning Sing will take place at 8:05am and the walkout will be recognized by students at 10:00am. If you would like to join either one of these activities, please sign in at the office and wear a visitor pass.
This incident underlines the need for all of us, as a school community, to work together to ensure the safety of our school and our neighborhood. It is important that children know that if they need help or have a concern regarding safety to please let someone know immediately. Supporting our children with positive and open conversations is crucial in helping them deal with uncertainty. We will continue to work together to create the safest and most positive learning environment possible for your children.
Erin Hanson, Principal
Standing up for Kindness Morning Sing
Solidarity. You standing with me.
Oh, Solidarity, me and you. I’ll stand with you too.
When we stand for what is right
Our future looks so bright
Keep the goal in our sights
You and me in solidarity
My voice is small as one
Two is much more fun
With many we can get stuff done
You and me in solidarity
You and WE in solidarity
Safe Strong and Free
Safe, strong and free
That’s how we all should be
Safe, strong and free in our lives!
At home or work, school or play
In the middle of the night, in the middle of the day
With strangers, friends or family
We should all be safe, and strong and free.
This Body is a Work of Art
This body is a work of art
This body is hallowed ground
This body stands for peace,
It doesn’t stand to see
Anybody put down
Every child, every woman and man
Your body is sacred land.
We were born for peace,
And it’s in our hands.