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     Dear Families,

    Community activism, whether locally or globally, has always been a deeply held value in Seattle and in our public schools.

    I am writing to let you know that students may choose to walk out on September 20 to participate in the Global Climate strike.

    We will follow our district protocols regarding student walkouts.

    Seattle Public Schools (SPS) is not sponsoring this event, but we honor students’ constitutional right to freedom of expression and the important role young people can have in addressing issues that affect us all. Board Policy 3223, Freedom of Assembly formally acknowledges this commitment.

    While we support our students’ first amendment right to peacefully protest and recognize the urgency of making change to protect the climate and our collective future, when civic engagement includes missing class (i.e. participation in a walkout), there is a standardized district approach.

    State law (RCW 28A.300.046 and WAC 392-401-020) which guides school district policy, does not allow an excused absence for participation in a walkout. Guidance on student walkouts is posted on the district’s website including information on making up class work and student safety during protests.

    We will maintain regular class schedules on September 20 for students who do not walkout and will encourage staff to provide learning-based activities focused on climate change throughout the day.

    Please talk with your student about this event. Once students leave our campus for unsponsored events, Seattle Public Schools can no longer guarantee their safety. We ask you to please discuss your family's expectations with your student about their participation, safety, and communication with you if they choose to leave school during the day.


    Dr. Barbara Casey