Posted on 03/14/2018

Hello SEMS Families,

This is your principal, Dr. DeBora, and I would like to share a final update on the March 14 walk out.

We had 218 students choose to leave class and walk to the upper field. They were calm and quiet, and they respected the process that had been agreed to through the conversations with administration. Towards the end of the 17 minutes, I made a few comments:

  1. I thanked all of the students for their behavior during this entire process.
  2. I shared with them a statistic that only one in five students will even register to vote when they turn 18 years old.
  3. I encouraged them to register, and shared that real change will happen in Washington when our elected officials pass laws that represent the perspectives of those they govern.
  4. I ended with the fact that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was once jailed for his civil disobedience, and sometimes there are consequences for your voice. We have a list of all students who participated, and we will see them tomorrow in the PAC during their lunch to serve their consequence. If they are eighth grade students, they will be on the high school field trips and we will see them on Friday in the Library.

Meanwhile, we had an amazing showing of solidarity, with hundreds of students wearing black. We also have received over 50 handwritten letters that we will send to the students of Stoneman Douglas High School.

I have read many social media perspectives of our assigning a consequence, and comparing us to other schools. As we use this moment in time to educate young adults about their civic responsibilities, we believe they need to understand the entire picture. Treating them like adults to allow their voice to be heard, but then treating them like children and pretending like there aren’t consequences for the significant level of disruption this entire event has caused the school is unrealistic. We have been as transparent as possible regarding our neutral stance to political issues, and I would urge any person with a concern to contact me directly. I am more than willing spend as much time as needed to hear all of the different perspectives, as well as share our school’s focus.

One final note, I will be sending out a communication regarding promotion by next Monday.

Thank you and have a good evening,

Dr. DeBora