CMHS to observe National Walk-Out Day

Students to spend 17 minutes in the gym to honor Parkland deaths

MILL HALL – Central Mountain High School plans to participate in the National Walk-Out Day tomorrow.

The plans were announced through a letter written by the school’s principal, Steve Turchetta.

The walk-out at CMHS follows the schedule of the National Walk-Out initiative. It will take place at 10 a.m. and last for 17 minutes, the number of lives lost in the Parkland, Fla. school shooting.

However, instead of CMHS students leaving the school grounds, or even the building, they will be allowed to enter the gymnasium, Turchetta’s letter stated.

“While in the gymnasium, students will have the opportunity to write a card to the Parkland, Florida school community or a government official,” he wrote.

Students are not permitted to display signs during this time or be disruptive, the letter stated.

If a student does not wish to participate, he may remain in his classroom.

Safety is the main concern at CMHS, according to the principal, and the walk-out has been planned with safety in mind.

“KCSD and CMHS respect our students’ voices and encourage our students to be engaged and informed about current events and controversial issues,” Turchetta said. “We will not discourage or punish students who choose to participate in the walk-out. However, student safety is our first concern.”

KCSD Security, Pennsylvania State Police of Lamar and other local law enforcement will be present and alert during the event, the letter states.

“Please understand, neither KCSD nor CMHS are promoting a cause or enabling a debate about any issue political or other. We are simply working to help our students safely express their personal feelings in a safe and respectful manner,” Turchetta wrote.

He finished the letter by encouraging teachers to speak with their students about such serious issues.

“We encourage you to talk to your student(s) about their views, the seriousness of consequences, and the importance of ‘see something, say something,'” he wrote. “Keeping our children, our schools, and our neighborhoods safe is our top priority. We appreciate your cooperation and support.”