CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Cedar Grove High School students will have a chance to participate in the National School Walk Out on Wednesday with certain modifications in place to ensure student safety, according to a letter sent from Principal Rick Mangili.

The National Walkout commemorates the one-month anniversary of the tragedy which took place at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  Schools across the nation have organized a 17-minute walkout at 10 a.m. on Wednesday -- one minute for each of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting.

Mangili said that several students had approached him with interest in participating in the walkout -- naming two distinct reasons.  "First, they wish to honor the victims of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida. Second, they wish to participate in an activist movement to speak about gun violence, better mental health policies and school safety," according to the letter.

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In light of safety concerns, namely increased security risk and the obstacles put in place by Mother Nature, the administration suggested a modified plan that would allow students to participate while still maintaining a safe environment for them.  Specifically:

* This is voluntary for all students. If students remain in class, their choice shall be respected as much as those who choose to walk-out.

* Instead of a walk-out to a location outside of the building, students who choose to "walk-out" will do so to the auditorium, where they will have access to a sound system and podium.

* If students chose voluntarily to participate in this movement, there will not be any repercussion or consequence as long as students promptly return to their classroom after 17 minutes. If a student unnecessarily prolongs the walk-out or engages in other behaviors that violate the student code of conduct, he/she may be subject to consequences.

The letter also noted that the school is working with the Cedar Grove Police Department to ensure that there is a police presence in the building at the time as a precautionary measure. 

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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