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Posted March 16, 2018

The Future is in Good Hands

In her weekly message, Supt. Reedy reflects on the APS students who took part in the National School Walkout.

I’m feeling pretty good about the future this week because I know it is in the hands of some remarkable young people who are changing the world for the better.

Thousands of those young people – our students! – took part in the National School Walkout in honor of the 17 victims killed during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Students at many of our middle and high schools joined students from across the nation in the historical walkout on Wednesday morning. I have to admit, the thought of thousands of students walking out of class at the same time caused some unease among district administrators – this one included. But I couldn’t be more proud of how our students handled themselves.

They were passionate and dignified. They were considerate and caring. They called for change, but acknowledged that they are the ones responsible for making it. And they were respectful of all points of view. Not all students chose to participate in the walkouts, and that was just fine. That is true democracy.

Our students held events during advisory periods, lunch and assemblies. They gathered in front of schools, on sports fields and in courtyards. They walked around the perimeter of their campuses, signed petitions, wrote letters to elected officials, posted to social media.

Then they went back to class, but not before making sure we got the message.

“Nobody understands the flaws in our system better than the people who are in it,” they said.

“We have ideas and we need to be heard.”

“Let our generation be known for our voice – a voice that can make change.”

“We are the future. Let’s make it a future worth living.”

As a child of the ‘60s, I appreciate the power of protest. And the power of youth.

As an American, I respect the right of our students to speak out and to assemble.

As an educator, I love that our students are getting real life civic lessons.

Thank you APS students for caring so much. Thank you educators for supporting these amazing young people.

I’m sleeping a little better these days.

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