Canyons District has created a plan to respond to any students who choose to participate in during-school demonstrations a part of the national conversation on school safety.
In an effort to support all patrons and students, Canyons maintains a position of neutrality on this issue. That said, CSD believes schools should encourage civil discourse and engagement in the democratic process, as well as recognize the First Amendment rights of students.
Accordingly, Canyons District schools will neither mandate nor intercede in the actions of students who respectfully participate in the following two national events:
- A demonstration planned for March 14, the one-month anniversary of the Parkland, Fla., shooting
- A demonstration planned for April 20 to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting
For security purposes, school and District administrators will work with student organizers to identify a safe space for students to express themselves, provide school supervision, and will ask local law enforcement to provide extra security during these two events.
For students who are not participating, the school day will proceed as normal. Those students will remain supervised by school staff inside the school.
Standard attendance rules for unexcused absences, truancies and tardies may apply to students who choose to participate in spontaneous demonstrations outside of the March 14 and April 20 dates.
However, the CSD Administration also recognizes that students’ decision whether to participate is best made after students have had the opportunity to discuss the demonstrations and the students’ related feelings with their parents.
Canyons District believes it is important to provide notice about these upcoming national demonstrations to parents so that they can have those conversations with their children and make a joint decision about participation.
In letters sent to parents, principals have encouraged parents to talk with their children about the importance of respectful behavior toward all students, regardless of the other students’ viewpoints or whether they participate in such demonstrations.
This response plan was created to preserve instruction time while providing students with a safe outlet for expressing their viewpoints.