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Statement from Minneapolis Public Schools on Student Walkouts

Feb. 21, 2018

The Feb. 14 week’s school shooting in Florida made an impact on people throughout our country. While we have policies in place to keep our students as safe as possible, many people are wondering what else can be done. Across the nation, students have been especially active in speaking out on this issue, and they have organized a number of activities in response to the shooting.

What’s become clear is these tragedies occur too often, and something has to change. There are no easy answers, but it’s time for our country to have a real conversation about how to move forward to protect our students and teachers. It’s been profound to see that conversation being led by students.

We encourage our families to have conversations with their students about their expectations and participation in non-school sponsored activities, including walkouts. MPS respects students’ First Amendment right to peacefully assemble, and we will not discipline students for the act of protesting as long as the protest remains peaceful. However, the best way for us to ensure student safety during the school day is to know where our students are—that’s simply not possible once they leave school grounds. At this time, our normal policies regarding student attendance and walkouts still apply.

The Superintendent’s senior leadership team will be meeting this week to discuss further considerations for national walkouts planned in March and April. We will share more information as these conversations continue.