The ACLU of Louisiana sent an open letter today to the superintendents of all Louisiana public schools, in anticipation of Wednesday’s National School Walkout to commemorate the students and staff killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School shooting. The letter affirms the right of students to engage in political speech, and details guidelines for administrators on how they can legally respond to protest.  

While the letter was sent only to traditional public school superintendents, the law applies to all publicly funded schools, including charters.

“Rather than focus on discipline, schools should regard National School Walkout day as an opportunity for a practical lesson in participatory democracy,” wrote Jane Johnson, interim executive director. “We hope that Louisiana school districts foster your students’ civic participation and responsibility on National School Walkout day, and help to ensure the health of our democracy in decades to come.”