Hello Coolidge Corner School Families and Friends,
As you may be aware, there is a Boston Climate Strike scheduled for Friday, September 20, 2019 at the Boston City Hall Plaza. Last week I met with a group of students who expressed interest in raising awareness about the need to demand action on the climate crisis. This group of students would like to hold a protest here at Coolidge Corner School.
In my conversations with the students and some staff, we agreed that a “strike” could be held from 10:45am until 11:00am this Friday. As such, the grassy area in front of the Devotion house on Harvard Street will be designated as a peaceful climate strike location.
Students participating in the walkout are expected and will be directed to walk directly to this space, which will be supervised by select members of the Coolidge Corner School staff. During the protest students will participate in walking in a circle in front of the house, carrying signs, and joining in chants, all of which are activities that were designed by our student leaders. The walkout will begin promptly at 10:45 AM and last for 11 minutes. At the conclusion of the protest the students asked to pose for a photo with their signs and will then walk back into the building. Participating students should return immediately to class by 11:00 AM and will be responsible for making up any missed work.
At this time, it is hard to know exactly how many and which students will join in the walkout. We are asking that families of students who are wishing to participate in the walkout share the above information and expectations before Friday.
We should all feel proud of our student leaders and their desire to bring awareness to the international climate crisis and demonstrate their views in a peaceful and productive way.
In response to this and the increasing levels of activism and social justice work that our students are engaged in, I am forming a working group of staff to take a look at the ways in which we can support our students in exercising their rights, educating them about activism and peaceful political protest, and creating safe spaces and procedures that allow all our students opportunities to demonstrate productively and peacefully about causes and points of view of which they are passionate.
At Coolidge Corner School, we have a duty to educate students about their rights and responsibilities while maintaining a school culture where all students feel and are valued and respected. We are committed to providing a learning environment where no one feels coerced to adopt or conform to views that are not their own. As public employees of the Public Schools of Brookline, our staff will neither encourage nor discourage student participation in any walkout.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.