South Meck HS dismisses early after CMS students stage walkout protests

- Students walked out of class at at least three Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools in protest, district officials confirmed Friday.  

District officials released a statement Friday stating that "CMS is aware of an organized walkout at some schools. Any students involved will be disciplined according to the code of conduct."

CMS said they were aware of walkouts at three campuses: Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, South Mecklenburg High School and Olympic Community of Schools. 

The following message was sent to families of the three schools: 

"Good morning XXXXXXX families. This is XXXXXX with an important message. As you may have heard, some students have chosen to organize a walk out and leave campus. We respect their right to assemble peacefully and advocate for important causes that impact their community. However, it is not in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct to leave campus or disrupt school operations. Our priority is to keep all of our students safe. Any students who participate in disorderly conduct will be disciplined according to the Code of Student Conduct. Staff is continuing to monitor the situation. Teaching and learning is continuing in our classrooms. I’ll keep you updated."

A large group of students was seen walking around South Mecklenburg High School carrying Mexican flags. The school's principal addressed the campus on the loudspeaker and instructed students to return to class. A group of resource officers escorted the students inside the building.

On Thursday, thousands of demonstrators converged on uptown Charlotte as part of a nation wide protests called "A Day Without Immigrants." 

Related: Thousands gathered in uptown Charlotte for 'Day Without Immigrants' protest

School officials at South Mecklenburg High School decided to issue an early dismissal for students because of the walkouts. Here is a statement sent to parents from Principal Maureen Furr:

Good afternoon parents, this is Principal Maureen Furr with an important message about an early dismissal today, Friday February 17th. Earlier today, I made you aware of some students who organized a walkout on our campus. While no violence has occurred on our campus as a result, we have decided to release students early today as a precautionary measure. School buses have begun arriving at South Mecklenburg High School and bus riders will be dismissed in an orderly fashion as individual school buses arrive. Student drivers will be released after the buses exit campus. Car riders will be dismissed as parents arrive to pick up students.

We encourage you to talk to your child about the incidents on campus today and the importance of expressing themselves in appropriate ways while on campus. Thank you for your support of South Mecklenburg High School.  As a reminder, students will not have school on Monday, it is a teacher work day.

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