RHS protocol for Wednesday, March 14 (National Student Walkout Day)

Greetings RHS Parents:

The purpose of this letter is to discuss the topic of the nationwide student walkout that is planned for Wednesday, March 14. The focus of this walkout seems to differ depending upon who or what group one speaks to but seems to center around issues of school safety and/or gun control, as well as solidarity with the teens in Florida who have been motivated to action by these recent events.

For the past 10 days we have either received information from and/or been in dialogue with the following people regarding this planned student walkout:

  • Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Schools
  • Administrators at local Catholic high schools
  • Indiana Association of School Principals
  • South Deanery Catholic Grade School Principals
  • Indiana Department of Education
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals

Relying on the information received and the dialogue we had with these groups, we have engaged in our own internal discussions as to what is best for Roncalli and our school community as it relates to the planned student walkout. The following is an explanation as to how we plan to address the issue at Roncalli:

On Wednesday, March 14, we will move the time of our daily prayer from after second period to after third period to coincide with the time of the protest. The prayer on that day will focus on those who have lost their lives in school shootings and for their loved ones who still mourn their loss. Prayer will also include a plea for more peaceful resolution to conflict in our country, a continued increase in efforts to assist those with mental health issues and finally for God’s providential spirit to be with our country’s lawmakers.

Here are the measures we have put in place for those students that might wish to participate in the student walkout. This protocol is similar to what we asked of our students, teachers and staff members who might consider kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem at a school sponsored event.

A student wanting to participate in the student walkout will need to meet with RHS principal, Mr. Weisenbach, individually some time prior to 6:00 PM on Monday, March 12, at which time we would ask them to explain their reasoning for wanting to participate in the walkout.

Students granted permission to participate in the walkout will be given a pass and will be allowed to participate in the walkout from 10:00 - 10:17 AM in a safe area designated by school officials.

Students granted permission to participate in the walkout will need to have parental permission as well. This can come in the form of a note to Mr. Weisenbach or an email to him at cweisenbach@roncalli.org. That permission would have to be in place by 8:00 AM on Wednesday, March 14.

Students who participate in the student walkout without these criteria in place will be considered in violation of the rules set forth in the student handbook and will be subject to disciplinary measures by the school.

We take our responsibility to care for your children very seriously, whether that be physically in terms of practicing protocol for fire and tornado preparedness, emotionally with our recent “Inspiring Change” program to identify and reduce stress, and morally by attempting to give them relevant guidelines consistent with our Catholic faith.

This issue is important to us, and it is important enough to find simultaneously an appropriate expression within the boundaries of both our school day and our faith tradition.

Thank you for the trust you have in us!

Please join us in praying for our country, especially for the safety of all of our schools and the students, teachers and staff in these schools.

Come Holy Spirit!

Roncalli High School Administrative Team

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