March 2018 Walkout Controversy
On March 14, 2018, countless students across the nation walked out of class as part of a political protest organized by Women's March. This event posed challenges for school districts as they have obligations to ensure student safety, respect freedom of speech rights, meet their instructional mandate, and remain politically neutral. At Loma Prieta, this event did not go smoothly. There was a great deal of division among our community and students, and our district was the subject of numerous local and national news stories. During this time, we were told by then Superintendent Kidwell and Board President Deana Arnold that they would hire an outside facilitator to help us all learn and develop shared understandings to guide us in future events. Some two years in and $65,000+ of your taxpayer money later, our elected officials have nothing to show for it. See below for further details on this developing controversy.
- In March 2018, the Superintendent sent out various conflicting messages leading up to the walkout including that the walkout would be considered a class cut and was breaking the rules, but also that there would be no consequences. Mr. Kissner wrote an open letter to the board and colleagues detailing his concerns with the planned approach to the walkout.
- In accordance with Superintendent's Kidwell's original guidance, Mr. Kissner treated students who walked out of class as having cut class, and gave them a failing grade on a previously scheduled quiz that the students knew about in advance.
- An anonymous and disgruntled parent went to the media,
with false information.
-Several days later, Mr. Kissner held a press conference to
respond to the allegations.
See Mr. Kissner's complete statement in the video:
In the almost two years since these events, and despite efforts to learn what our district leadership has learned from this experience and plans for the next walkout, the district has refused to release any information. The LPTA has recently come into possession of hundreds of pages of documents and communication related to the walkout controversy. In the interest of the public good and government transparency, we will release these documents as we are able to go through them.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions about the walkout controversy that we may be able to answer.