Administration authorizes walkout


March 13, 2003, midnight | 21 years, 4 months ago


Students for Global Responsibility and Montgomery County Students for Peace and Justice have been organizing a walkout, in coordination with other students across the country, for the day after the United States declares war on Iraq. Because the walkout is expected to draw hundreds of students the administration has agreed to authorize the walkout for safety reasons. Below is a letter from vice principal Linda Wanner to the rest of the staff outlining the procedures the administration will take on the day of the walkout.


Dear Colleagues,

America is a very different country since 9/11. As a nation, we are heading into a difficult period and may be on an uncertain course for the forseeable future. With this in mind, we have an important role to play in helping our students focus on the issues at hand by speaking from a position of information and knowledge. If you have not read Cherrie McGinn's thoughtful piece on Blair Private, Friday March 07, I suggest that you do so. It speaks to the teachable moment and raises questions that gives students perspective in discussing these highly charged issues of war and peace.

Mr. Gainous and I, along with Ms. Alban and Mr. Reddick have been meeting with Mr. Vlasits, one of the SGR sponsors, and some students in SGR concerning the protest planned for 1 PM, on the day that war begins, if it does. The protest is being planned throughout the county. Since we want to allow our students to exercise their constitutional right to protest and, at the same time, to maintain order and decorum, Blair (being Blair: unique and led by an enlightened principal) is planning the following:

1) on the day of the protest, a student will read a prepared statement over the PA. The main points are the following:

a) any student wanting to demonstarte against the war is invited to walk out of class at 1 PM. This walk out WILL BE authorized. Staff may participate if so inclined.

b) no student or staff should feel compelled to participate.

c) students who do not want to demonstrate should stay in class. Classes can be combined and students can discuss the issues there.

d) resource teachers should prepare for class-combining ahead of time so that plans are in place on the day of the protest.

c) students will gather in the large gym and will be led by students out of the school and around the perimiter of the school property.

d) the school safety committee and security will direct students as they march.

c) at 2:10 students will leave the property and many of them will go to DC to continue to protest there.

It is Mr. Gainous's hope that we can continue to keep the school on a even keel as these world events unfold. It will be the steady resolve of the faculty that will keep our students calm and safe. We want to stress to each and every student that the call to protest is NOT directed against any particular group of people. As a school,that lives diversity on a daily bases, we are a beacon of hope and of enlightenment to a troubled world.

If you have any comments or thoughts to add, please get in touch with Mr. Gainous or me so that your concerns can be considered.

Sincere thanks,
Linda




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