April 10, 2018
Dear McKay Parents, Guardians and Community,
As principal of McKay, I want to inform you about a possible student walkout that may occur on Friday, April 20. I hope that this communication allows you to better understand what may occur that day and to give you an opportunity to have discussions with your student about this event.
First, any type of student led demonstration/walkout that occurs is not a McKay High School sanctioned or endorsed event. As always, our students are allowed to exercise their right to freedom of speech. Student and staff safety is always our top priority. We work with our partners at the Salem Police Department and with our own security team to ensure our students and staff are safe and that we can maintain a learning environment during any student led/demonstration or walkout.
Back in March, some of our students participated in a national walkout that honored the 17 victims of the Parkland, Florida tragedy. That demonstration was peaceful, remained on campus and students returned to class after the 17-minute walkout. The reason I write to you today is that our students organizing this walkout have informed me that they will be leaving campus to join others at the Oregon State Capitol. I want to give you as much information as I have so you can be informed.
• The walkout will begin at 10 a.m. on April 20 with students who choose to participate.
• The demonstration is to call for Gun Policy Reform.
• There are no plans to conduct the walkout on campus. Students have a planned route that they will walk to get to the Oregon State Capitol.
• The McKay High School staff and security will work to ensure that our students are safe from the point of walkout to exiting campus. None of our McKay staff or security will supervise the demonstration at the Capitol.
• When students leave campus for the demonstration, it will be an unexcused absence.
• We encourage students to prearrange this unexcused absence so we can best account for all of our students that day.
Here are some important things to know and talking points with your student if your student elects to participate in the April 20 walkout off campus.
• As this walkout is not a McKay sponsored event, it is important to know that if students leave campus, they are choosing to enter an uncontrolled environment where there will not be supervision from staff at McKay High School or Salem-Keizer Public Schools. This is why we feel it is extremely important for students to stay on school grounds.
• The District’s transportation policies and schedule will not be altered for this event. SKPS will not be liable for any incidents that may occur from non-approved forms of travel during this non-sponsored activity.
• The District will work with local law enforcement to help keep students as safe as possible while off campus. It is important to understand that students leaving campus will no longer be the responsibility of Salem-Keizer Public Schools.
Please call or email me if you have questions or want to discuss this in further detail at 503.399.3080.
Principal, McKay High School