Students protest gun rights rally

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Public school officials in a rural Arkansas district allegedly "swatted" three students with a paddle as punishment after participating in last week's walkout protests against gun violence.

At 10 a.m., students peacefully left their third-hour classes and met outside of the school by the flagpole, where they stayed for 17 minutes, one minute for each of the lives lost in the Florida shooting. In anticipation of the event, some schools made a decision to allow demonstrations within the school, such as sit-ins, fund raisers for the Stoneman Douglas Victims Fund or discussions among students and teachers about ways in which they can make a difference in creating safer schools at home and across the country.

Cuomo folowed up by dashing off a letter Thursday to state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, calling on her to stop school officials from taking disciplinary action against students who joined in.

Two more events in the planning stages - March for Our Lives on March 24 and another National Student Walkout on April 20. In Washington, D.C., thousands of students from around the nation marched on Congress and the White House to demand stricter gun control and other school-safety measures.

"We're more concerned with our rights to bear arms than for our children", she said in a telephone interview. "We're happy to do our small part tonight", Collins said.

Feighan said his hopes are that the entire country stands up with all the students who arranged walkouts "to put an end to this".

The 17-year-old Parkland student spoke from Twitter's headquarters in NY, during a panel discussion that included Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg and other leaders of the student-fueled #NeverAgain movement.

One imagines that public-school administrators were young once, inspired by the passion and power of their convictions.

"We certainly support a student's right to protest".

While the forum was billed as a discussion on school safety and gun violence, it served as an opportunity for politicians, advocates, school administrators and student leaders to charge the hundreds of students in the packed auditorium to continue to raise their voice and push for change. We were not goaded into leaving school for 17 minutes by the school district, "special interest groups", "progressives", or any other adults. Bell, a MS public high school student, published rap songs and lyrics on Facebook and YouTube that criticized several teachers after other students accused them of sexual harassment.

"It was just the right time to take action", Tinnel said.

In an interview with CNN'S Van Jones, Oprah Winfrey said, "They were creating this national march to say, "enough"... what it takes to risk that on a national level is what I responded to".

"I did get some backlash from students but I was thinking it wouldn't be a protest if there wasn't backlash", she said.

"We can't praise them for doing what they've done, because that wouldn't have stopped what happened at our school", student Jaclyn Corin said.

No parties, no politics, they say.

One 18-year-old student, Alia Hassan, said: "We stand in solidarity with Stoneman Douglas, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, University of Texas, Columbine, Red Lake". "I think some of the kids didn't really think administration was going to go through with it, and so there was surprise that they actually ended up getting detention". It's sure to be a hot-button issue as we near midterm elections, and if you're not registered to vote, make sure to sign up.

It is essential to realize that in our school there were no victims from the walkout. Students are finally realizing that change is long overdue and it inspires me to keep fighting even after this march is over.

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