Student-led "Winton Walkout"

March 14, 2018

Dear Families,

The best part of being an educator here at Carondelet is the opportunity to grow and learn something new each day alongside our students. At 10 a.m. today, hundreds of our students joined with students from across the nation and participated in the National School Walkout, a 17-minute event marking the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. All of our students are back in their classrooms and will continue with their regularly scheduled classes.

The 17-minute "Winton Walkout" was entirely student-organized and led. This was not a school-sponsored assembly. It was the students' voices that demanded to be heard, not the voices of the adults. And while the majority of our students participated in the walkout, other students chose not to. As a school community, we support all our students and their right to express themselves in a safe environment as they continue to learn more about themselves and the world around them.

And their voices are being heard. Through their walkout, they made a statement against gun violence. Through their silence and prayers, they memorialized the 17 victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting. We expect their voices will continue to be heard today at lunchtime through activities they have scheduled with students from De La Salle.

As a Sisters of St. Joseph-sponsored school, we support the call to end gun violence and encourage our elected officials to navigate the complexities of divergent opinions and beliefs to find solutions that will save lives. I have attached a recent statement from the Sisters which calls violence a "public health and moral crisis that is destroying the lives, dignity and hopes of millions of people." Click here to read their message.

One of the values we seek to inspire in every student is to have the courage to find her voice and use it to make the world a better place. Each student must follow her own heart and conscience in deciding how to put this value into practice. At Carondelet, our young women do so in a safe environment that affirms their goodness and applauds their willingness to take action when they are so moved.

I continue to value your partnership as we work together in educating your daughters for their futures. As always, I would love to hear from you and encourage your thoughts and comments.


Bonnie Cotter