PRESS RELEASE – ORANGE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
For immediate release
Information: Superintendent’s Office (714) 628-4487
March 5, 2018
Dear OUSD Parents and Community Partners –
The impact of the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida has reverberated on school campuses throughout the nation, prompting concerns about school safety.
Many of our students have expressed an intention to participate in a publicized nationwide school walkout for 17 minutes - starting at 10:00 a.m. on March 14 - in response to gun violence and in remembrance of the 17 Florida victims. The nationwide walkout is student-driven and voluntary. The event is not sponsored by Orange Unified School District nor any of its schools. However, principals, District staff and student leaders are meeting to ensure a peaceful event should students decide to participate.
Orange Unified respects the First Amendment rights of our students to support a cause and express their opinions provided they adhere to District and school guidelines:
- All activities must remain peaceful
- Students may not leave campus
- Students must stay in designated areas and not disrupt the educational environment for other students and staff
- After 17 minutes, students must return to class when instructed by school staff
To further student safety, individuals who are not on official school business will not be allowed on campus to participate in the walkout. As is our current protocol, all visitors or school volunteers must check in with the school’s front office. Our number one priority at Orange Unified is the safety and well-being of all our students.
OUSD has received legal guidance from the Orange County Department of Education that school districts may provide appropriate time-and-place alternatives to ensure minimal disruption of the instructional process. Principals from schools that are aware of planned student walkouts will be contacting their parent communities in the coming week to provide information about their campus. We understand how important and impactful this issue is to children and families, and we encourage honest and frank conversations with your children.
OUSD will be holding an Active Shooter Response Training for Parents on Tuesday, March 6, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the gym at Canyon High School, 220 S. Imperial Highway, Anaheim. Please note, this event features mature content and is not suitable for children. We encourage parents to attend tomorrow’s presentation where law enforcement representatives will be available to discuss student safety.
Thank you for your continued support of our schools and community.
Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 30,000 students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana and county areas. The school district, founded in 1953, encompasses 108 square miles. The District office is located at 1401 N. Handy Street, Orange, California.