VOORHEES — Some students at Eastern Regional High School are planning to defy school officials and walk out of class on Friday in support of the Palestinian cause.

The walkout originally scheduled for Friday during lunch in the football stadium was canceled after two Camden County commissioners sent an angry letter to district Superintendent Robert Cloutier pointing out, among other things, the protest was happening during the Jewish holiday of Passover.

"Student leadership at Eastern has a conference with the principal and vice principal to discuss concerns about the event," Cloutier said in a statement obtained by New Jersey 101.5. "Students agreed to cancel this week's event in order to meet together and plan a united rally for the innocent people on both sides of the conflict."

Cloutier told CBS Philadelphia that the walkout had been scheduled unnoticed until it was posted on social media.


'I think it is silencing'

Ash Tavares told CBS Philadelphia that student organizers like her were not part of the conversation.

"I think it is silencing and I think it is unfair," Tavares said, adding that the intent of the walkout is to "respect" those who have died and not a protest against Judaism.  The flyer for the event includes the term "viva Palestina" with no Israeli representation.

The Instagram account for the walk-out said the event was canceled "since the school was under immense pressure from the Zionists."

Tavares said despite the risk of consequences, he and the other organizers will still walk out Friday as planned.

Voorhees police said they will have extra patrols around the high school on Friday.

Cloutier did not respond to questions about the meeting with students about the walkout including who was at the meeting.

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