March 13, 2018
Dear Warwick families,
In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, students across our country and in our area have begun to organize events to make their voices heard. As we became aware of the national call for students to stage “walkouts” from their schools and classrooms, we learned of the intention our students have to participate in these activities. We opened a dialogue with student leaders at Warwick High School and Warwick Middle School in the interest of safety for all our students.
The district acknowledges and supports secondary students having a voice in the conversation regarding school safety. Due to the fact that the time and date of these national walkouts have been highly advertised, some of our students wish to participate. For safety reasons, the district will provide a secure location at the high school and middle school where students will be able to participate, if they choose, in a student-initiated movement on March 14, 2018. The Warwick School District believes it is incumbent on us to provide a safe place for civil discourse to happen. However, the district does not condone students walking out of class for any reason. Doing so will result in an unexcused absence from class, as teachers will continue to instruct during that time. Students are not permitted to leave campus and will be subjected to discipline if they choose to do so. A banner will be made available at both the MS and HS for students, who wish to send their condolences to the students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to sign.
Due to supervision and safety concerns, parents/guardians of elementary school students wishing to have their child “walkout” of their classroom during this time, will need to come to their building, sign their child out of school for that time period, and be responsible for the supervision of that child off school property.
Finally, it is not, nor will it ever be the intention of Warwick School District, it's administration, board or staff to influence the political thoughts and ideas of our students; rather, it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of every child during all learning opportunities. We appreciate the continued support of our community. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or your building administrator.
April M. Hershey, Ed.D.