Dear EPHS Students & Families,
As you heard from Superintendent Swanson yesterday, we are aware that a statewide school walkout is planned for April 19 in solidarity for Daunte Wright, Black youth, and racial justice. We have learned that EPHS students plan to participate in this event. Though this is a student-organized walkout and not a school-sponsored event, I want to to recognize the suffering, trauma, and anger many of our students are feeling. Our students and staff have engaged in important reflection and discussions throughout the week, we’ve hosted after school discussion groups, provided counseling support, and I have shared my thoughts and support for our students on EP Updates (our morning announcements). This work will be ongoing, and though a markedly better future may seem far off at times, I believe we can and will craft such a future. That will require partnership among all members of our school community.
With a student walkout planned, I also want to acknowledge that the safety of our students is my top priority. With all of this thinking in play, we developed these expectations for any student choosing to participate in a walkout.
- The statewide student walkout is slotted for 1:00-1:47 p.m. EPHS students are still developing their agenda, we anticipate this will start toward the beginning of 4th period. We expect students to return to class promptly when the walkout is over.
- Students will enter and exit the East doors and congregate in the bus loop.
- For the safety of your student and others, we will be securing the school grounds from 12:45 p.m. until about 2:00 p.m. Please do not plan to come to EPHS during that time as we will have certain entrances to our parking lots blocked off. The general public will not be allowed in this area.
- If you need to pick-up your student from school for an appointment or pressing circumstance during this time, please contact our attendance office at 952.975.8009 to make arrangements.
- To the extent possible, we will make sure any student who leaves EPHS is supervised.
- Accurate attendance will be taken--students not in class will be marked absent and students arriving late to class will be marked tardy.
Students have the right to participate in the walkout as well as the right not to participate. Please don’t make assumptions about whether students are supportive of the cause based on whether or not they participate Monday. We each have our own stories, needs, and ways of processing. I encourage families to have conversations about this event and expectations as you develop plans for Monday.
These conditions will allow teachers to continue with their classes for the students who choose not to participate in the walkout. We will communicate expectations for this event to students again in our morning announcement on Monday. While this is not a school-sponsored event, it is a high priority that students know the expectations around the event.
Thank you for your attention to this message. I am grateful for your partnership as we support each of our students.
Robb Virgin, Principal