MADISON (WKOW) -- Students at East High School in Madison walked out of classes Friday in support of raising the voices of survivors of sexual assault. Students at La Follette, West and Memorial also walked out.
In a letter to families, East High School Principal Sean Levy said the school values students' perspectives, and encouraged students to report any instances of sexual violence.
Read the full letter below:
"Dear East High School Families,
I am writing to provide you with information on student-led demonstrations planned for this Friday, October 15, at some MMSD schools and potentially involving East High School students. The student-led demonstrations are being held for the purpose of raising student voice in support of survivors of sexual violence.
The safety, security, and well-being of all of our students remains our priority. As such, we feel it important to keep you informed as our students in both middle and high schools may be asked by other students to participate in these demonstrations. We want to make sure you have the opportunity to speak with your student about these events before Friday.
Honoring students' perspectives is something we value at East. Hearing the voices of our scholars provides an important opportunity for growth as we continue to refine policies and protocols. While we commend our students who continue to lift their voices on dismantling cultures of sexual violence, we ask you to encourage your student to stay in school during the school day on Friday so they do not negatively impact their instructional time. If a student chooses to participate, we want to make sure they are aware events like this are not school-sponsored.
While we are proud of how responsibly and safely our students have participated in similar events in the past, we also encourage you to speak with your student about staying safe if they do participate in demonstrations. Talk with your student about their rights and responsibilities as participants of a demonstration, including the consequences of inappropriate behavior. We will be following our typical attendance policy, meaning a student can be excused by their parent/guardian for a pre-planned absence. Excused absence requests can be submitted online, by emailing or calling your student's neighborhood secretary (listed below), or by leaving a message on the All Day Attendance Line at 608-204-1650.
Olbrich Neighborhood Office: Susan Harris, (608) 204-1638
Tenney Neighborhood Office: Emily Nevel, (608) 204-1614
Warner Neighborhood Office: Jessica Penning, (608) 204-1613
Yahara Neighborhood Office: Emily Nevel, (608) 204-1614
In addition, we continue to encourage students to seek out a trusting adult to report if they either experience or have knowledge of an incident of sexual violence. We also want to provide you additional information and resources to guide conversations with your student on sexual violence, including ways to report incidents:
Speak Up, Speak Out Threat Reporting System: Anyone can submit a school safety concern by downloading the SUSO app (Android and iOS), visitingspeakup.widoj.gov, or by calling 1-800-MY-SUSO-1.
Rape Crisis Center website or helpline at: (608) 251-7273
MMSD Let's Talk for reporting information to school officials
As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for your partnership.
Sean Leavy, Principal
East High School"
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