March 7, 2018, Message to Families from Dr. Carol Hansen
Dear Ocean View School District Families,
The school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has had a profound impact on communities and people across the nation. It has created an important dialog about school safety. I hope you received our February eNewsletter, The OVSD Current, and read my Superintendent’s Message about the many ways we address student safety in the Ocean View School District (available on our website and app).
As part of that dialog, many of our local high schools and Orange County school districts are reaching out to families to discuss the widely publicized, nationwide school walkout for 17 minutes (in honor of the 17 victims who lost their lives) at 10 a.m. on March 14.
In OVSD, we respect students’ First Amendment rights, under federal and state law, to freedom of speech in the school environment. Any March 14 events held off campus are entirely student-driven and voluntary; they are not sponsored by OVSD, or our schools.
In accordance with state law, we will not discipline students who choose to assemble on campus, provided they adhere to District and school guidelines:
- All activities must be peaceful and respectful.
- At no time may students leave our campuses.
- Students must stay in the pre-designated areas on campus, so as not to disrupt a safe and orderly educational environment for all students and school staff.
- Students may not exceed identified break periods and must return to class when instructed by school staff.
To further support a safe environment, outside groups, parents/guardians, and other individuals who do not have official school business will not be allowed on campus to participate in a walkout. Volunteers and anyone visiting our campuses for school-related matters must check in at the front office, as is the usual practice.
As with any important issue, we encourage you to have a conversation with your child, if you feel it is appropriate, and to make your own expectations clear to your child, related to these non-school sponsored activities. Principals and school staff will maintain open lines of communication with our families.
We wish to continue to communicate transparently and proactively with our staff and families. We rely on our partnerships to support all students. Together, we will navigate these important, and sometimes difficult, issues in a respectful and constructive manner.
Please contact your Principal if you have any questions related to this matter.
Thank you in advance for your continued support and partnership.
Carol Hansen, Ed.D.