As many of you know, the tragic incident in Parkland, Florida on February 14 has begun a student movement that includes a 17-minute (for the 17 victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School) National School Walkout on March 14th. Schools (mostly at the secondary level) across the country are currently preparing for this event.Right next door to us, at Point Loma High School, Principal Becker and his student leaders have organized a peaceful demonstration on the PLHS athletic fields on March 14th including opportunities for students to perform some Spoken Word poetry.As always, our goal is to provide a safe, neutral environment that honors student voice and action, as we balance our efforts and responsibilities to uphold school safety for our students and staff. Our plan as a district is to have increased security around all high school and middle schools and to add safe places for students to hold demonstrations in peaceful and appropriate methods, while giving students who do not wish to take part in these events a place to go as well.
The situation is obviously different here at the elementary level.At LPE on March 14th at 8:45am, each of our classrooms will find a quiet and safe place outdoors to take part in a calming, reflective activity focused on KINDNESS and RESPECT towards others.These activities will vary from class to class but will include story read alouds, art activities, time for silent reflection, or responding to a written prompt.This activity will last a total of 17 minutes and students will return to class at 9:02am.
You obviously know your children best and understand how much information they have been exposed to and what they can handle.Our teachers will not specifically mention the events that occurred in Floridaor any of the issues surrounding this tragedy (i.e. gun violence, mental health, etc.) but please find time to ask your children about how they can show kindness and respect to EVERYONE here at school and in their neighborhood.As we saw at our Great Kindness Challenge Assembly on February 15th, promoting KINDNESS is the first step towards a better future for our children.If you think your child would benefit from speaking with someone about their overall emotional well-being, please let me know.Our School Counselor, Guidance Assistant, and School Psychologist are happy to help in any way they can.If you have any questions about any of this, please feel free to let me know. --MM
PS….In addition, on a somewhat related note, our district has set up a Parent University session focusing on the topic of BULLYING on March 13th at 6pm.Sessions are available at several high schools, including Point Loma High School.Please see the attached flyer.