Remember the 17

Remember the 17
Posted on 03/12/2018
Remember the 17Dear Parents/Guardians,

As you may have heard, a social media campaign calling for a national student walkout has gained traction in the last few weeks.  In response to the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, activists have been calling for students to walk out of their respective schools in protest of gun violence.  The walkout is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14 at 10:00 a.m., for 17 minutes, one minute for each life lost in the Parkland school shooting.

While South Amboy Public Schools recognizes the value in exercising an important first amendment right, we maintain our priority in ensuring students remain safe throughout the school day.  In preparation for Wednesday, we held several meetings with the Middle High School Student Council leadership and representatives from each class.  Our Student Council, collectively and unanimously, decided to coordinate a student-run assembly rather than walking out of the school.  The students felt the best way to serve our community is to respectfully remember and honor the lives lost in Parkland, FL.

The program/assembly titled, Remember the 17, includes speeches from our students, a remembrance vigil with the naming of the 17 victims, followed by a 17 second moment of silence.  The program will also include a review of our security protocols to ensure all students understand the importance of our emergency drills.  The entire program has been outlined and created by our students, and our school faculty and administration will support them in carrying out this endeavor.  (The elementary school has planned a special intercom announcement at 10:00 a.m.  Students will remain in their classes, wherein age-appropriate classroom discussions will take place with their respective teachers.)

Teachers and parents play an important role in educating our students, and moments like this allow us to create teachable moments.  For this reason, our Middle High School Student Council opted to assemble respectfully and securely within the school rather than to walk out.  We are asking all parents to support our efforts in keeping students safe within our school buildings. Again, we ask you to support this student-run program and encourage your child to remain inside and participate in a respectful manner. As previously mentioned, we have a strong collaboration with the South Amboy Police Department. 

Due to the publicity circulating nationwide regarding possible school walkouts, Police units will be stationed around the perimeter of the school from 9:45 - 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday.  No public access to the Middle High School campus will be granted to visitors during this time.  If your child has a scheduled appointment on Wednesday morning, please arrive before 9:45 a.m. to sign-out your child.  The public library will also be closed during this time.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school administration.

Jorge E. Diaz