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Superintendent Everett V. Olsen issued the following statement on March 12:
“On Wednesday, March 14, a nationwide voluntary 17-minute student and teacher walkout is planned in remembrance of the 17 lives lost in the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida on February 14. The “ENOUGH National School Walkout” has been organized by Women’s March Youth EMPOWER to focus the country’s collective efforts on bringing an end to school violence.
Some of our high school and middle school students and staff will be participating in this event. At Westford Academy there will be a moment of silence and 17 Westford Academy students will recite the name of one of the students or staff who lost their life in the Parkland shooting. Due to weather conditions, Westford Academy will hold a “March-In” using the Performing Arts Center and the Main Gymnasium. There will be an opening moment of silence by a student representative, a poem read by a student who lost a relative in the shooting, thoughts from School Resource Office (Geoffrey) Pavao, words from me and closing comments from Principal (James) Antonelli. At our middle schools, a lower-key approach will be taken. The 17 minutes will be a time of remembrance. There will be no activity involving students at the elementary level since I believe that this national walk-out is most age appropriate for middle and high school students.
Once again, the focus of this event will be to remember those who lost their lives, and the need to end school violence. Our students care deeply about each other, and this extends to their fellow students across the country. As they continue through their college education and careers, they will help shape discussions and actions impacting school safety.
Please know that accommodations will be made for students and staff at all schools who choose not to participate in the 17-minutes of activities, and administration and staff will provide careful supervision.
We appreciate your show of support for fellow students and staff and safety within our country.”