Portland to Observe National School Walkout on Thursday, March 15th

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School Superintendent for Portland Xavier Botana (L) with City Councilor Pious Ali at East End Community School Last Year.

With schools closed today Wednesday, March 14th due to bad weather, the Portland Public Schools will allow a brief intermission during the school day on Thursday, March 15th, tomorrow.   The brief intermission will occur at 10:00 am at Portland, Deering and Casco Bay High Schools and at Lincoln, Lyman, Moore and King Middle schools in Portland.

The Walkout is in response to the tragic shootings at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Valentine’s Day.  The Portland Public Schools will allow this student led activity to be held.  Our high schools and middle schools will perit their students’ participation in a brief intermission during the school day on Thursday, March 15th. Both high school and middle school students will be able to exercise their free speech rights regarding the issue of school violence.

This will be an opportunity for all students to express their views on the subject of school safety in a peaceful and orderly manner without disrupting the day. No student will be pressured to participate in the Walkout or to express an opinion with which they do not agree.

Roughly 3,000 schools across the country are participating in the Walkout that marks the one year anniversary of the mass shooting in which seventeen people lost their lives in Parkland Florida.

Superintendent Xavier Botana has written a letter to families discussing the district’s decision regarding the Walkout.  It can be seen on the district website.