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March 12, 2018

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On the Issues

There has been a lot in the news and on social media recently about walkouts and other demonstrations related to the Parkland, Florida school shooting. Here in Jeffco, there are plans for student demonstrations during school and in the evening on March 14th. Though the district takes no position on these types of issues, we are respectful of everyone’s right to express their opinion peacefully.

We have worked with our school and student leaders in planning for March 14th - keeping our students as safe as possible and making sure these events are well-organized, orderly, and timely.

Many of our principals have already sent communications to families about plans and expectations regarding March 14th activities particular to their school, but I will also take a moment to express my expectations for everyone connected with our schools.

  • We expect our students to be respectful of each other and staff, to express their opinions in a responsible and peaceful manner, to communicate with school leadership, and to put learning first.
  • We expect our staff to model professionalism, focus on education, encourage respectful, balanced discourse among students, and support a safe school environment.
  • We expect our community to be supportive of student voice, be tolerant of different views, and to be respectful of school policies when it comes to access and interacting with students.

Please note, unless a school has invited families and the community to join activities on March 14th, only students and staff will be allowed on school property due to safety reasons. We also know the news media is interested in student activities, but they have been directed to stay off school property during the school day. There is another student-led community event happening in the evening that is open to all.

I would also like to remind you of our School Safety Panel on Tuesday, March 20 at Lakewood High School (flyer). I am looking forward to talking about Jeffco Public Schools' current safety and security practices as well as our partnerships with other agencies. Attendees will have an opportunity to discuss school safety and give feedback. We will be livestreaming the event for those unable to attend in person, it will be available for viewing later, and we’ll have a web page to learn more and share thoughts as well. I anticipate this is the beginning of a discussion involving our students, staff, citizens, and community partners to take a fresh look at school safety.

We all love our children and the issue of school safety is emotional. This presents challenges for all of us to work on hearing and understanding others who have different, but also positive, values and beliefs when it comes to what we should do going forward. I encourage and expect all in our community to model a commitment to listening to each other. Only through this can we find the right path forward for Jeffco.

Kind regards,
Dr. Jason Glass
Superintendent and Chief Learner
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