Students' Right to Protest

Students' Right to Protest

At SFUSD we support our students in taking action to address issues of concern to them. Please review our approach to walkouts, protests and demonstrations that occur during the regular school day.

Support of Students’ Rights

The district supports the right of our students to express their views in a peaceful manner, including their constitutional right to peacefully protest.  Our students have exercised this right in numerous visible ways including participation in sit-ins, walkouts, taking a knee at athletic events, and marches. 

Field Trips to Demonstrations

While SFUSD recognizes and respects a student‘s right to free speech, District employees shall not organize, promote, endorse, or encourage students to participate in any student demonstration, distribution of materials of a political nature, sit-in, or walk-out. Staff is not authorized to lead students in a walkout - demonstrations do not constitute an authorized field trip at any grade level.

Protest and Absences

When civic engagement includes missing class (e.g. participation in a walkout or strike), SFUSD will not prevent students from peacefully protesting or walking out, but we cannot excuse a student's absence from school. An absence from class to participate in a walkout, strike or demonstration does not meet the criteria of an excused absence.  

Student Safety

Student safety is a top priority. When students leave our campuses, we are no longer able to ensure student safety. For this reason, when a school or the district learns about a planned walkout or any instance where groups of students might be departing campus, SFUSD staff will work closely with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to monitor the safety of our students if they travel away from district property and out of our care. Through this coordinated effort, we are more able to support student safety as they exercise their First Amendment rights.