CMS students stage walkouts Friday morning

Officials with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools confirmed that students at some campuses in the district were staging walkout protests Friday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Officials with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools confirmed that students at some campuses in the district were staging walkout protests Friday.

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

According to a statement released to NBC Charlotte Friday, any students involved will be punished in accordance with the student code of conduct.

In a message to parents of South Meck students, the principal said, "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."

According to a statement released to NBC Charlotte Friday, any students involved will be punished in accordance with the student code of conduct.

“Today, some of our students chose to organize on-campus walkouts in protest to recent events involving immigrant communities,” said Superintendent Ann Clark. “On some campuses, peaceful protests were organized and students then returned to class. We understand that many of our students are feeling lots of anxiety and fear. We respect the right of our students to assemble peacefully and advocate for causes that are important to them. However, disorderly conduct that disrupts school operations is not acceptable and will be handled compassionately but firmly in accordance with the CMS Code of Student Conduct. We encourage parents to talk to their children about how they may be feeling and the importance of expressing themselves in appropriate and peaceful ways while at school.”

A large group of students was seen walking along Snow White Lane in north Charlotte outside of Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers were at the scene and students were back in class shortly after the walkout.

The following message was sent to parents of students at CMS schools.

"Good morning families. This is 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."

On Thursday, thousands of protesters gathered in uptown Charlotte as part of a nationwide protest known as "A Day Without Immigrants." 

RELATED: Thousands gather in uptown for 'A Day Without Immigrants march' 

Copyright 2017 WCNC


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