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Peaceful Demonstration

March 14, 2018

From the Principal

Today we witnessed the first amendment to the constitution in action: The Freedom of Speech, and of the Press, and the right of the People peaceably to assemble, and consult for their common good. About 30 students took part in a peaceful walkout in remembrance of the tragedy that befell our nation a month ago in Parkland FL. The students left their classrooms at about 10 am, congregated outside for a short period of time and then had a peaceful march around the school building. Mrs. Lenz, Mrs. Bremerkamp, Mr. Payne, Mrs. Kellerman, myself and others were available to keep the students safe and even engaged a number of them about the purpose of their demonstration.

We also took the opportunity to have an open discussion directly following lunch about the constitutional rights that we enjoy as a nation and the connection to what was happening across the nation today. It was a lively discussion led my Mrs. Kellerman and I believe that the students walked away from it with a greater understanding of what they participated in and their rights to do so. We are truly blessed to live in a land where the right to peacefully assemble is a hallmark of our society. There are many places where this is not possible, but in our country men and women have fought and died for the protection of these and all of our inalienable rights.

This may be a very good chance for you to share with your children examples of our first amendment rights. Let history be your guide with peaceful protests like Gandhi’s hunger strikes in the 30’s that eventually ushered in an independent India, the Flint sit down strike of `36-37 that spurned the creation of labor unions, the Montgomery bus boycott of `55-56, and the many peaceful marches in the 60’s in support of civil rights. Recently, groups have gathered in support of woman’s rights (Time’s up), and African American right (Black lives matter), and of course today’s demonstration bringing attention to the violent acts that took place a month ago. Our middle school children are growing up and an understanding that their voice matters is a very good thing to instill in them at an early age.

Today’s activity was an exercise that we can all take pride in and with continued dialogue we can better support our children as they become young adults. I am personally pleased with the way our students conducted themselves today, and you should be as well. If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Respectfully yours,
Mark S. Talbot

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