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Principal

Dear Badger Families,

In the wake of the tragic event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and dialogue surrounding school violence nationwide, students around the country are planning to participate in walkouts on Wednesday, March 14th to support safer schools or other various efforts that are being encouraged to honor the seventeen victims including observing 17 minutes of silence (from 10:00 – 10:17 a.m.) Much of the communication is circulating via social media.  

Most important, because we want our students to be involved in the movement and because we care about our students’ concerns and desire to express them, Tucson High Magnet School’s plan for this day is to provide opportunity for students to be heard while ensuring their safety here on campus.  

On March 14th students can (but are not required to) participate (see attachment):

1)      9:55-10:00 am-Our THMS Choir will perform a tribute song to honor the 17 victims of Parkland

2)      10:00-10:17 am-We will have a 17 minute sit-in on the front steps of the Main Building  sharing our thoughts and messages by holding up signs made by our students

3)      10:20-12:00 pm- “Talk-In” with the Center for Community Dialogue and TUSD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo. Teachers have been invited to bring their classes, and student-trained facilitators will facilitate the dialogue circles and panel discussion.

4)      All students will be dismissed back to class and attendance will be excused for those who participated in the event.

In addition, Tucson Unified School District, has offered two community forums on School Safety:

The forums have provided parents, students, teachers, and the community with the opportunity to proactively engage stakeholders, share how we as a district and site leaders prepare for emergencies, how we engage local agencies before/during/after such emergencies and, most importantly, provide us with the opportunity, as a district, to answer our stakeholder’s questions and address their concerns. Those in attendance included the mayor, Pima County superintendent, representatives from Tucson Police Department and Pima County Sheriff’s Department, representatives from the Metropolitan Education Commission to attend and participate in the forum. TUSD School Safety and the TUSD Counseling Department were also at the forums.

Furthermore, with the help of our Human Rights’ Club many students are preparing to participate in the March 24th March of Our Lives (see attachment) movement that is being promoted nationwide. Neither Tucson Unified School District nor Tucson High Magnet School endorses or sponsors the organization or activity represented on the flyer for March 24th. The distribution of the material is provided as a community service. 

Parent(s), it is important that you and your child understand the following, as it pertains to this activity on March 14th and any future participation in what may be considered political protest:

·         TUSD nor Tucson High Magnet School does not endorse or support any particular viewpoint or advocacy group.

·         THMS does support student rights to express their views and opinions in a manner that is respectful, safe, and empowering.

·         TUSD and THMS are committed to ensuring students have safe campuses for learning and the role of our staff during this time will be to help keep our students safe.

·         We respect the rights of all students, whether they choose to participate or not.

·         We have collaborated with students, staff, and local authorities to ensure students are safe and able to have their voices heard.

·         We encourage our students to be actively engaged citizens who are knowledgeable about multiple viewpoints surrounding current events. This can be a learning opportunity that helps our students apply the citizenship lessons they are learning in school.

·         If a student or group of students plans to leave campus during this time, they will be discouraged from doing so; however, our schools cannot physically stop students from leaving or force them to return to campus. Our Guidelines for Students Rights and Responsibilities (GSRR) will apply during this time, and any student in violation of GSRR by inappropriate behavior during this event, or by leaving campus and/or not returning to campus, will be addressed accordingly.

Thank you for your partnership in keeping our students safe; here at Tucson High Magnet School it is of primary importance in doing so every day. Please feel free to call with any questions and/or concerns. If I am not available, you may contact any administrator.

Sincerely,

Tucson High Administration