Parents’ Opinions: Supporting walkout, sharing views on school safety

The following is a letter written by a group of Sycamore parents, supporting the walkout and discussing their views about school safety, which was shared with us by Felicity Tao. It was sent to the superintendent and the Board of Education.

Dear Mr. Forsthoefel and Members of the Sycamore Schools Board of Education:

Thank you for your leadership and thoughtfulness in making arrangements to allow Sycamore High School students to honor the victims of the Parkland shooting tragedy in a safe, appropriate, and meaningful way. It speaks to the character and values of our community. By listening to the students and accommodating their initiative in a safe and dignified environment, you provide a valuable lesson to teach these students to become productive and actively engaged citizens, a noble responsibility of our schools and an important component of the students’ education.

We also appreciate the thoughtful plan you made to encourage Junior High and Greene students to do 17 Random Acts of Kindness throughout the day. It’s an age-appropriate and meaningful way to engage the younger students to honor the victims and build their characters.

Many of us parents signed up to stand by our children who [sought] to have their voices heard in this nationwide walkout on March 14, but we understand why this event [was] not open to the public. Although we could not be there physically with the students, we want[ed] to send this letter to show our encouragement and support for their courage and activism. We are standing by and with them despite our absence.

As a community, we cannot emphasize enough how much we all care about the safety of our children and schools. There have been many discussions at school board meetings regarding this topic around the country at the moment. Sycamore is no exception. As a group of parents closely monitoring and participating in the discussions, we would like to voice our stand on this topic as well:

  1. We appreciate any effort that the school district has taken and will take to reevaluate our security measures and protocols.
  2. We encourage the school district to consider adding more resource officers (or other security personnel) and other measures for security purposes.
  3. We DO NOT support any effort to arm our teachers or provide resources to train teachers or staff to be armed.

Again, thank you for listening and creating a productive and thoughtful program to engage the students.

Best Regards,

Sycamore Schools parents