A Message from Superintendent Patricia Saelens Regarding April 20th

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April 17, 2018

A Message from Superintendent Patricia Saelens:

Following the tragic shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida in February, student-led activities were planned to recognize the one-month anniversary of the event and honor the 17 lives lost. On March 20,  to observe the anniversary, approximately 120 students from North Caroline High School gathered on the athletic field for 17 minutes, and three students from Colonel Richardson High School met in the auditorium for 17 minutes.  

While participating, students at both schools were closely and carefully supervised. Students were respectful and orderly throughout the 17 minutes, and remained focused on their intended purpose of paying tribute to the loss of life in Florida. No disciplinary actions were required.

Now a nationwide student walkout is planned for Friday, April 20, and appears to be an act of political expression rather than a tribute to lives tragically lost. In addition, this walkout is publicized as lasting from 10:00 a.m. until the end of the school day. 

Events of this type with a specific political agenda do not have a place in our schools and are disruptive to the school day. They also pose a serious concern to the safety and well-being of our students.  

Given these circumstances, I want to stress that Friday, April 20 remains a regular school day as scheduled on the school calendar. Students who leave the classroom without permission will be subject to the Caroline County Board of Education Student Discipline policy, as they are every other school day.

I appreciate the mature and responsible behavior of all our students these past few difficult months, and trust their good judgment and the support of their families will ensure a successful end to the school year.