UPDATE (Monday, Feb. 26, 3:40 p.m.): Newton County School System Director of Public Relations Sherri Davis said students who participated in the demonstration today at Newton High School will receive an unexcused absence.
UPDATE (Monday, Feb. 26, 2:20 p.m.): Newton County School System Director of Public Relations Sherri Davis provided the following statement to The Covington News: "This morning at 8:30 a.m., approximately 60 Newton High School students walked out of school to protest gun violence. Respecting the students right to peacefully protest, school principal, Dr. Shannon Buff, provided a safe area for the students to conduct their demonstration—one that did not block any entrances or exits to the building. The students have remained calm and very peaceful throughout the day. At 2 p.m.there were approximately 40 students still protesting on campus. Two additional deputies were called to the school this morning to provide extra support and ensure that the students were safe."
Davis also told The News the school's No. 1 priority is student safety. She said media is not allowed at the school during high-stress situations to "prevent disruption."
"The presence of media also creates a larger disruption," she said. "The administrators and staff need to keep their focus on the students. I hope you understand this."
Davis also said photos and videos are not permitted during these incidents because not all students have signed permission slips to be photographed/videod/interviewed and it is hard to prevent them from being included.
COVINGTON, Ga. - Students at Newton High School are actively protesting gun violence outside the main entrance of the school.
Reporters with The Covington News were asked to leave the campus.
We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.