Principal Rouse's letter about the April 20 walkout

April 19, 2018

Dear OPRFHS Families,

A growing movement titled #NationalSchoolWalkout is gaining traction with some students at OPRF.  The movement is described by national organizers as a protest against “congressional, state, and local failures to take action to prevent gun violence.” Students plan to walk out of their classes at 10:00 a.m. this Friday, April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting. 

This walk out is different from the others in that the plan is for students to walk out of their classes at 10:00 a.m. this Friday, April 20, and not return to school for the remainder of the day.  The event is being planned and led entirely by students, and as a school we plan to follow our normal schedule. We will follow our normal attendance procedures. Students who are not in class will be marked absent. As always, the absence will be unexcused unless a parent/guardian calls it in.

PLEASE NOTE: As on all other school days, in accordance with Illinois High School Association (IHSA) rules, we require students to be in attendance for at least 5 periods in order to participate in any extracurricular activities after school, including athletic practices and competitions. This rule will still be in effect this Friday, April 20. Students who do not attend at least 5 periods will not be able to participate in extracurricular events after school that day. This includes athletics, clubs, activities, performances, etc. Please make sure to share this information with your students so that they can make an informed decision when thinking about participating in the walkout. 

We have alerted local law enforcement agencies of the potential walkout; and the administration and safety & support staff will be visible and providing support to ensure the safety of our students and staff on campus.    

Do you know what 420 is? Our students do.

For those of you who are not aware, April 20, or “420,” is an unofficial holiday to celebrate marijuana and cannabis culture. Oak Park and River Forest High School administrators and Prevention and Wellness Coordinator Ginger Colamussi encourage parents and guardians to reclaim this day by talking openly with your teens about the harmful risks of youth marijuana use.

Communities across the country are making 420 “Talk With Your Kids About NOT Using Marijuana Day.” Check out these helpful resources to have effective conversations with your children about not using marijuana in any form, including smoking marijuana, consuming marijuana edibles, or vaping marijuana oils and waxes.

Thank you for all you do to help us keep our students healthy and safe.

Nathaniel Rouse