Dear Hixson Families,

It has been quite an eventful day with our kids and I wanted to share out what took place.  I've talked with many parents today and know that there are many narratives about our day and what took place. This morning it was shared with me that there was a protest organized on social media asking students to meet for a peaceful demonstration at the high school this morning on the soccer field.

Soon after, I was informed that Hixson students were also being asked to meet for a peaceful demonstration at Moss Field through social media.  At 10:10am this morning, one student left class and walked to Moss Field.  About 10 minutes later, other students joined her when they were at lunch and dismissed to go to recess.  In all, there were 51 students who met for a peaceful demonstration and they walked the track several times together.  Throughout the whole time, they were monitored by adults, were respectful, and went inside after they were done with the demonstration.

It was later shared that other students who missed the first demonstration were planning on walking out during 5th hour.  A group of students attempted to leave campus and head back to Moss Field but were sent back to the building and class.  This was done because of concerns for their safety. I did announce on the intercom that students needed to be in class and could not leave campus for safety reasons.  They were asked to talk to teachers, the counselors or administration if they needed a space to be heard.  This was done to ensure safety for kids to express themselves.  I realize there are threads running through social media about consequences.  I can assure you that there were no disciplinary consequences given to students.

While I'm aware of strong beliefs that we hold about schooling and what we believe should be taking place in schools, what I'm most aware of is that we can't control what kids bring into school.  Today, kids brought the weight of what is happening in our community into their world-our school.  We will be extremely respectful to honor all kids voices and work to not marginalize how anyone is feeling.  Sometimes that means things like a planned peaceful protest take place outside of any adult guidance.  Our responsibility as a school is to honor each child's voice and heart and the complexity that makes up each one of them.

Moving forward, I am working with the students who are passionate about being change agents in the world.  Today, we met after the first demonstration to talk about "now what".   It's important that regardless of how we feel, they know we are listening.

We are listening.

With Gratitude,