Letter to Parents

Dear Monroe Junior High School parents and students,

While the nation mourns the 17 lost lives from the senseless act of violence in Parkland, Florida, students and teachers across the country are organizing to show their support for the victims. A national school walk-out is planned for March 14th where students and teachers will leave their school buildings for 17 minutes in an act of unity against these types of atrocities. Our own high school students have decided to participate, and we will have extra police presence on Wednesday to support those efforts. While I share in the concern and disgust for events such as these, my belief is that Monroe Junior High School’s response should be something different. I will not stand in the way of students who choose to exercise their right to protest, but I want to offer everyone an alternative. Instead of fixating our attention outside our school, we will shift our focus inside onto one another. Starting on March 14th, and continuing until we leave for Spring Break on March 23rd, I am challenging every one of our students to meet 17 new classmates and find at least one meaningful thing in common with them. This similarity should be something more than just having the same eye color.


  • How to participate
  • Students will first follow the account @myseventeenmonroejh on Instagram. Then, once students meet someone new, they will take a selfie with them and tag the account @myseventeenmonroejh with the hashtag #myseventeen. Along with the hashtag, students will write the thing that they have in common with the other person as the caption.


Follow our account to see the new connections that our students will be experiencing, and join us on your own journey to find others that are not so different from you. We all share more in common with each other than any of us realize, and by reaching out, we can help our friends and neighbors understand that they are not alone.


Joe Ward


Monroe Junior High School