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Posted February 27, 2018

Staff Response to Student Walkouts and Protests

What are your rights and responsibilities?

Many APS employees are deeply invested in the issue of school safety and gun violence, and the district recognizes their right to peacefully assemble and express their opinions, though there are limitations to these rights during the workday. 

Staff must be mindful that there are multiple perspectives on this issue and, like any controversial issue, they must be respectful of all sides of the discussion. Staff should not lead student efforts, though they may guide students and encourage them to think deeply about the issues.

APS is encouraging students to look for alternatives to walking out of school during nationally planned protests on March 14 and April 20. Some suggestions include before and after school protests, lunchtime or weekend rallies, letter-writing or social media campaigns, debates and petition drives. Students should be reminded of expectations and consequences of walking out of school as outlined in the Behavior Handbook.

If students insist on walking out of school, staff may discuss safe locations or routes. They also may voluntarily accompany them, though they are not obligated to do so. Student safety has to be our priority during these unsettled times. 

Staff also must be aware that there will be students who choose not to participate in protests. These students’ rights must be respected as well, and they must have a safe environment. Staff must be prepared to not participate in a protest if they have students who choose to remain behind.

 

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