Howard students stage walkout against possible war

Teens peaceful, orderly as they join day of protest

March 06, 2003|By Liz F. Kay | Liz F. Kay,SUN STAFF

Students from four Howard County high schools protested potential military action against Iraq yesterday, railing with students from across the nation against the notion of teen-age apathy.

Several groups, including the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition, designated yesterday as a day of protest against the war, and students at more than 300 colleges and high schools reportedly planned activities.

In Howard, a handful of Mount Hebron students took an early shift, carrying signs along St. Johns Lane at Route 99 in Ellicott City during the morning rush hour before Howard County police escorted them away.

Police noted that the students had failed to obtain county permits for their protests at Mount Hebron and other Howard schools, but said they would permit them to demonstrate for up to an hour.

"We are monitoring things because we know this day has been designated" as a day of protest, police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said. School resource officers learned of the planned protests Tuesday and as a result, "we were prepared this morning to address this," Llewellyn said.

At noon, about 50 Wilde Lake students congregated on a snow-covered berm in front of their Columbia campus, but they returned to the building after about 10 minutes, fearing punishment.

"We want to let people know that although most people in high school can't vote, it is going to be affecting us and we don't agree with what the [U.S.] administration wants to do," said Jamie Daniller, an 18-year-old Wilde Lake senior.

"We made our point! Go back to class!" yelled senior Sarah Hersey, who helped organize the Wilde Lake protest.

At Howard High in Ellicott City, 34 students gathered on the school parking lot for an hour at 12:30 p.m. under the watchful eyes of the police resource officer assigned to the school and three other officers, said Principal Mary Day.

"They were very peaceful, very cooperative," she said. "I think we needed to use this as a teachable moment - that protesting does not mean you disrupt the school."

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