Alerting message found inside local school prior to student walk - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Alerting message found inside local school prior to student walkout

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SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

A suspicious message in a local school bathroom that referred to the Parkland, Florida school shooting was discovered on Monday. 

Students at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School in South Hadley saw heavy security when they got back to school on Thursday. 

There had been no school on Tuesday because of the snow, and on Wednesday there was a professional teachers day. 

The alerting message was found the same week Pioneer Valley Performing Arts students participated in a nationwide walkout to protest school gun violence and honor the Parkland school shooting victims. 

Students read each victim's name one by one, while joining students across the country who held similar walkouts on Wednesday.
 
"I would say the goal of today was to spread awareness about actions that can be taken, and to spread awareness about the tragedies that take place much too often because of lax gun laws," said student Phoebe Lloyd. 

Students said action is long overdue to stop the gun violence in schools.

"We have a right to go to school feeling safe. We have a right to feel confident to walk into the doors of our school and learn without having a learning environment that is interrupted by violence by guns," said student Iris Ethier. 

Students said they want people to know that they're not going away, and that gun violence is an issue they really care about.

"I hope this movement grows, that we see congress passing laws and bills that will keep us safe and our teachers safe," said student Bebe Leistyna. 

Younger students from the seventh grade also joined the movement.

 "This morning we received notification that state and local police were present this morning and used metal detectors to help insure the safety of the students," said parent Khristine Morin. 

School went on as usual on Thursday amid the security precautions.

An investigation into the message incident is being conducted by school officials and police. 

So far, the person who wrote the message has not been identified.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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