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Wednesday, March 14, 2018 ** 

Dear Trumansburg Community:

I appreciate the number of concerns in response to the letter I sent yesterday, March 13, 2018.  Some parents and community members have expressed their concern that the District does not care about the strong emotions that our young people are experiencing in the aftermath of the violence in Parkland, Florida.  They have further expressed concern that the District intends to discipline students who choose to peacefully and non-disruptively leave school to commemorate the 17 victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting.   
These thoughtful comments and reflections have made me realize that I communicated the District’s perspective about this topic in a manner that was insufficiently sensitive to the young people in our community who are feeling moved to participate in civil engagement by their grief and outrage regarding the lack of safety in our nation’s schools.  Please consider this letter to be a retraction of my earlier letter, and a statement of the District’s strong commitment to ensuring that its schools are a safe and welcoming environment, where all our students can engage in a developmentally-appropriate manner with not only the political and social/emotional aspects of the tragic events in Parkland, but also with how these events have prompted political activity and other forms of civic engagement in communities around the country.  The District wishes to re-assure our youth that we value their opinions and voices on such important topics.  They are the generation that will promote change for future generations as well as their own.  
Please understand that the District has an obligation to enforce its attendance policies in an equitable manner.  Accordingly, students who miss class time to participate in a protest will be considered absent from any classes they miss, in accordance with the District’s attendance policies.  I wish to clarify, however, that students will not, under any circumstances, be suspended or have additional consequences merely because they make the decision to be absent from one or more classes in order to participate in peaceful protest that does not materially disrupt the school environment.

I hope this letter clarifies the District’s perspective with regard to this issue.

Kimberly Bell
Trumansburg Central School District




Kimberly Bell
Superintendent Of Schools
Trumansburg Central School District
100 Whig Street
Trumansburg, New York 14886
(607) 387-7551

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