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Guidance to Families Regarding Possible Student Led Walkouts on March 14 and April 20

Posted by Elizabeth Egan on March 07, 2018

Dear Issaquah School District Community,

The Issaquah School District Board has adopted the Students End of Citizenship, which states that students will live as responsible citizens. This is defined in part as students being able to (1) understand and respect the freedoms, rights, and responsibilities of being an American and participating in a representative democracy at the local, state, and national levels; and (2) recognize how their personal and collective actions impact the greater community.

The District recognizes that many people, across the nation and in our community, feel a great deal of sympathy for and solidarity with students and teachers who have been victims of violence at schools, most recently in Parkland, Florida. We want to make you aware that students across the country are coordinating protests on March 14 and April 20. The District understands and respects that students may choose to engage in these events. This letter provides information to our families and community regarding how the District plans to handle possible participation.

The District’s first priority is providing an education to its students. The District’s responsibility, and parents’ typical expectation, is to assure students remain in the supervised environment of the school. To minimize the disruption to District schools, if the event is a student walkout, the District will follow its normal school schedule:

  • The District will follow the established attendance procedures to address excused and unexcused absences from school. Students will be advised in advance of academic activities that are expected to occur during the time of planned walkouts known to the District. 
  • Students who participate in walkouts will be marked tardy or an unexcused absence if gone longer than one hour, consistent with the District’s attendance Regulation 3122 – Excused and Unexcused Absences.
  • Parents may excuse their child from school attendance. Please follow normal notification procedures with your school, should you wish to remove your child from school.

The District is steadfastly committed to providing a safe educational environment, while honoring students’ right of expression. We are also committed to avoiding any harmful effects events may have on students who do not wish to participate or who may disagree with the message of the event at hand. Students are expected to act in a respectful manner to the community, staff, and each other consistent with the District’s student code of conduct.

For student safety, the District will provide staff to supervise any students who elect to participate on campus during the school day.­ However, please understand, the District does not have sufficient resources available to monitor the safety of students off campus. 

What has been communicated to building administrators:

District and building administrators will continue to adhere to Regulation 3220 related to Student Expression as they address any events that take place on campus. Regulation 3220 opens with “The free expression of student opinion is an important part of education in a democratic society. Students' verbal and written expression of opinion on school premises is to be encouraged so long as it does not substantially disrupt the operation of the school.”

Under District Regulation 3223 – Freedom of Assembly, students have a manner to participate that is not disruptive to the educational process. Regulation 3223 reads “Peaceful student demonstrations are permissible, though they are to be held in designated places where they will present no hazards to persons or property and at designated times that will not disrupt classes or interfere with the normal operation of the school.” These designated places and designated times will be communicated to students and will be consistently applied regarding any event students may identify.   

The above Regulation is for students only. Community members remain visitors and volunteers. Schools will not provide a designated place for visitors to congregate, so that the normal operation of the school may still occur. For safety, it is the District’s expectation that parents and guardians who choose to participate will sign their student(s) out and leave campus, per existing building procedures.

The Issaquah School District remains committed to honoring student expression while prioritizing the educational mission of the District in a safe learning environment for students, staff, and community.


Ron Thiele Signature

Ron Thiele, Superintendent