Dear Bloomfield Hills Schools Families,
The recent tragedy in Florida left an impact on all of us and have left many wondering what to do to influence change. Across the nation, students are organizing and mobilizing. Activities and events are being planned by students on school campuses, in state capitols, and online.
We applaud peaceful student activism and are proud that the conversation about school safety is being led by the students themselves. We encourage students to be civic leaders and participants and respect their right to free speech.
To that end, we encourage our families to have conversations with their children about participation in non-school sponsored activities, including walkouts. Bloomfield Hills Schools 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 and does not present a material or substantial disruption to the learning environment. Bloomfield Hills Schools will respect the rights of all students, whether they choose to participate or not.
However, the best way for us to ensure student safety is to know their whereabouts. That's simply not possible once they leave school grounds. Therefore, we are asking all high school students who wish to participate in a planned walkout to remain on school grounds with designated staff, who will accompany students to ensure their safety. High school staff will not personally participate in the walkouts, but will be on-hand to help supervise and maintain the safety of the demonstration.
If a particular high school student remains outside for longer than the organized window, refuses to stay with a staff member, or leaves school property, our regular attendance policies will apply. If this is your family's plan, please consider utilizing the BHHS attendance office to call in the absence prior to the event. This will help us plan staff ratios accordingly and maintain the safety of these planned activities.
For students in kindergarten through 8th grade, we will not offer a supervised walkout opportunity. If students wish to participate, they must be properly signed out and escorted from the building by a parent or guardian. They may return to school after the planned activity. If they return to school, they must be signed in at the main office. All parents, guardians, and other visitors on school grounds during the school day are subject to the school's rules and regulations.
Bloomfield Hills Schools is a public entity and, as such, we do not engage in protests. The role of our staff during these events is to keep students safe.
Thank you for your partnership in our school safety efforts.