March 1, 2018
Greetings Chatham families,
I met with the student body today to discuss the tragedy in Florida and the attention this event has been getting both nationally and locally. My message was an attempt at explaining the complexity of this situation and was not political in nature. The most important message delivered today was that it is okay to have different opinions and viewpoints and that we need to respect each other’s thoughts and feelings. I believe we can co-exist in a peaceful and supportive manner and take care of one another and keep each other safe in these uncertain times.
The students have many thoughts, questions, and opinions on the proposed school walk-out on March 14th. My pledge to the students and staff is that we will work together to plan our response to this national movement. The goal is not to suppress voices or viewpoints, but to provide safe and organized opportunities for students to express themselves in these challenging times.
We have asked our students, faculty, and staff to wear red and black tomorrow. We plan on taking a picture together in school colors with a sign offering support and well wishes to the students and families in Parkland, Florida.
The school district will be planning a community event to discuss the safety and security of our schools. You will be notified about the time and date once that has been established.
Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or concerns you may have. I feel proud and fortunate to be working in such a supportive community with amazing students and a wonderful faculty and staff. I am confident that we will navigate these days ahead thoughtfully and collaboratively in the best interests of our school community.
John T. Thorsen
High School Principal