PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Molalla River School District announced all schools will be closed Friday to ensure student safety after a parent-organized walk-out over mask rules on Wednesday.

About 100 students walked out during lunch with approximately 50 adults protesting Oregon’s mask requirements, the school district said.

The district says they knew about the protest ahead of time, so superintendent Tony Mann consulted with Chief Chris Long regarding student safety. A police officer was also at the school during the protest to make sure students safely crossed the street.

A half-hour after the walkout, police told Mann the protesters were likely going to the district office.

Because they were unsure of the group’s size, objective and need to keep students and district office staff safe, Mann locked the exterior building doors, relocated staff and had them work with the blinds closed.

The district noted, “during this same time, students in the district’s transition program who are highly impacted by disabilities were secured in their classroom space with their teachers.”

The school district said protestors knocked and pounded on building doors and windows, which they say “grew in intensity.”

“A number of students and staff who experienced the events at the district office yesterday have called in sick or absent today,” the district said.

On Thursday, protests continued with 15-20 high school students and adults outside of the high school with signs and over 100 middle school students that “peacefully refused to go to class with a mask on”, Molalla River School District said.

“I strongly believe in our community’s ability to solve problems together, and to resolve disagreements in productive ways. I ask all of the adults in our community to recommit themselves to setting an example of civility and collegiality in the few short weeks until the mask mandate is lifted in our district,” Superintendent Mann said.

Molalla River School District added that they are required to follow state regulations and “no matter our political views, we all have a shared goal: for schools to stay open for learning. Schools cannot remain open if there are safety concerns for the wellbeing of staff or students. For that reason and to help our schools stay open, our school district asks that protests not directly impact or disrupt school buildings, entryways, crosswalks and classrooms.”