MAPLEWOOD, NJ - An email from Columbia High School (CHS) principal Elizabeth Aaron was sent to the school community at about 1:30 p.m. on Friday, addressing the National School Walkout that took place earlier that day, and noting that students who missed class to participate in the protest will be marked with an unexcused absence.

Aaron's full email is below:

Dear CHS Families,

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This morning, approximately 250 CHS students chose to participate in National School Walkout Day.  Students began to leave their classrooms and exit the building shortly before 10am. After sitting on the school’s front lawn for approximately 20 minutes, students then walked to Maplewood Town Hall. CHS Administrators and Security Staff and Maplewood Police Officers accompanied the walkers to ensure student safety. After leaving Town Hall, some students returned directly to CHS, while others walked through Maplewood Village as they returned to school. Adult supervision was present throughout the demonstration.

Many students are also taking part in a public installation art project – writing statements of action and protest on orange strips of fabric which are then being tied to the fence between Ritzer Field and Valley Street. This is ongoing throughout the afternoon, so students can participate during lunch or after school.

As the Superintendent noted yesterday, attendance for classes still counted today. Students who were not present in class due to participation in the protest have been marked with an unexcused absence.  

We are proud to see our students making their voices heard about one of the most urgent issues of our time, and appreciate your partnership as we work together to keep CHS safe and secure.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth M. Aaron, MAT, M.Ed. 

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