Letter from PCSD Supt. Kurzynske outlines student protest guidelines

Letter from PCSD Supt. Kurzynske outlines student protest guidelines

Dear Pulaski Community School District families and staff,

Last month’s tragic event in Parkland, Florida, is leading people, including students, throughout the country to voice their opinions in a variety of formats.

There have been some media reports of planned walkouts by students during the school day. While we have not yet received any indication that a student or outside group is planning such a walkout at a PCSD school, if a walkout or protest were to occur at a PCSD school, we want you to be aware of how our district will respond.

PCSD administration understands and supports students’ interest in expressing themselves and we understand that some students may be interested in expressing themselves through participation in school walkouts or protests. A student walkout is not a school-organized event, therefore, students who participate in a walkout /protest will be treated as absent from class. These absences will be treated consistent with the district’s student attendance and absence policy in the same manner as any other absence.

In order for such an absence to be excused, it must have parent pre-authorization. Absences that are not excused by a parent will be treated as an unexcused absence in accordance with district policies. Additionally, disruptions to the educational process and those that cause a greater disturbance than non-attendance will be handled in accordance with applicable school and board policies.

Again, we have not received any indication that a walkout is being planned by students or by an outside entity.  This is simply a proactive communication in the event one does occur.

The safety of our students is always our top priority. In addition to the safety upgrades in facilities and processes we have already undertaken, we will continue our efforts to engage with community agencies, lawmakers, and law enforcement officials to promote student safety. Additionally, we will continue to build on the positive connections that our students have with our staff, their families, and our community and in doing so help develop outlets so that students can peacefully and constructively express their concerns. With your help, we will be able to remain proactive in our work with our students and support one another in our efforts to respectfully advocate for topics that we are passionate about.

Please feel free to contact your child’s building administrator or me if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Bec Kurzynske

Superintendent of Schools