Dear Parents and Guardians,
As principals in Gwinnett County, we are reaching out to all of our communities about an issue that is important to us all… our students and their safety. The events that unfolded a week ago in Parkland, Florida, were tragic. Our hearts and our thoughts go out to the victims, their families, and all of those touched by this tragic incident throughout their school and school community.
Media coverage of this tragedy has prompted a variety of responses across the nation and here in our community. One of the responses that is gaining much attention has come from students themselves. Some groups of students across the country are planning national events to walk out of schools in protest in the aftermath of the shooting in Florida.
We certainly understand that students have strong feelings about this issue. One of our goals as an educational institution is to prepare students to participate as constructive citizens in a democratic society. With that in mind, we will be working with student leaders and other interested students at our school to provide meaningful opportunities for them to honor the victims from Florida and voice their concerns. This might entail a number of things—meeting in a safe, open place on school grounds with supervision; organized meetings outside of class hours; letter-writing campaigns to legislators; and expressing condolences to those who have been touched by violence. I look forward to working with our students to hear their ideas.
As a school, we are planning on preserving instructional time and operating as normal on these days. That said, we do have concerns about students participating in a walkout or other activities that create a disruption at school or results in a loss of instructional time. Any student engaging in activities that create a class or school disruption may face disciplinary action.
We have a wonderful, caring school community and students who are concerned about what is going on in our country. While we want to support our students as they find ways to voice their concerns, we also must do our part to ensure their safety while they are in our care. As always, thank you for your continued support of our students and our school.
Dr. Dana Pugh