Next steps for LCHS, March 14
Dear Parents & Students of Lake County High School,
We wanted to send out a communication today to provide information regarding Thursday’s student protest and walkout, share with you the plan for school for the remainder of the week, and to invite you to continued conversations that we want to have this week to learn more about the concerns regarding the high school.
We share this information with you in hopes that you will have a better understanding of the student walkout that happened on Thursday, March 10th at LCHS. This information is to help get out the timeline of the day and help curb any rumors or misinformation you may have heard since Thursday.
A social media communication began circulating among student groups on Wednesday evening that invited students to join a walkout at 10:30am on March 10th with a stated cause of racial injustice. At 9:10am on Thursday March 10th, Ms. Dillon emailed all LCHS staff the following message:
“We received word last night that there is a planned student walkout scheduled to happen at 10:30AM this morning. The walkout is to support equality and anti-racism. Our job is to keep educating as we normally would, keep kids safe, and not prevent the walkout from happening. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.”
At 10:30AM many students left classrooms and walked into the cafeteria and then into the auditorium. There, a few students spoke to the group about their concerns. They initially read a written statement that started with this rationale:
“One of the main reasons for this walkout is to protest the unfair punishment and
treatment of our Latino community within the school. For starters, caucasian students do not get nearly as much heat on them for doing things against the rules or for fighting other students. Latinos however face far stricter punishments from the school for doing the same things as white students and despite making up over 60% of our school’s population do not have access to the things they need.”
Then a few students started to speak off their prepared script and targeted specific staff. These students told the audience that they were told by staff not to go up and down the halls causing a disruption. The audience members then were encouraged by the student organizers to go into the school hallways and make noise and cause a disruption. Some students were going around the halls, chanting. Staff encouraged students to either go back to class or leave the building. Some of the student group then went outside of the school and walked to the courthouse. A communication was sent out by the school to the LCHS parents with the intent of informing parents of the event and that some students had left the school property. Dispatch was notified that students had left the school as there were concerns for student safety.
The group of students walked around town, went to the courthouse lawn, and then walked back to the school. Students were allowed back into classes if they were calm and ready to get back to class, and would not cause a further disruption.
High school staff met today, Monday, March 14th, to focus on next steps while students remained home for the day. Students and parents were sent a survey to gather information around this event.
Plan for this Week
- Tuesday, March 15th:
- 8:30am – log onto your specific crew’s Google Classroom via the Google Meet link, be prepared to reflect on last Thursday’s events and debrief. This will last roughly an hour.
- For the remainder of the day, work will be asynchronous (not live instruction). Students should check their classes Google Classrooms to complete any work indicated by the classroom teacher.
- Starting Tuesday, all after school activities will resume.
- Wednesday, March 16th:
- We are planning to resume in person school.
- Parent/community listening tour 12:00-1:00 at District Office & 6:30-7:30 at LCHS Library.
- Front Office
- If you need to enter the building, you will need to call our front office staff at 719.486.6950.
- Visitors will be allowed to enter after an initial conversation.
- Given the disruption to teaching and learning that occurred on Thursday, we must get back to operating a calm, organized, focused learning environment. If a student is not where they are scheduled to be at any point during the day, they will be sent home.
- No form of disrespect toward staff or students will be tolerated. Students who demonstrate words or actions that jeopardize the emotional or physical safety of a community member will be sent home.
- Staff will uphold our standard school expectations and current policies. There will be opportunities in the future to engage in conversations about our current policies. For now, our goal is to have two safe and productive days of learning before going into spring break.
- Listening tour on Wednesday, March 16th
- District Office 12:00-1:00 pm
- LCHS library 6:30pm- 7:30pm
- Interpretation will be provided at both meetings
- Parents and students will be asked to share their concerns
- Attend the listening tour and share your thoughts and concerns
- Check in with your student on how things are going
We believe that safety and belonging are vital for every member of our community, yet we currently have division and disagreement on many levels. In order to make real change, we need your input. Your honest conversations with the administrators will help us come to a mutual agreement on what things should look like at the high school. By clarifying discipline procedures and acceptable approaches forward for students and teachers, we believe that we will be moving LCHS toward a place where all feel welcomed, safe, and that they belong.
Lake County School District