Public school students around the country are participating in National School Walkout protests organized by Democrats who are pushing for gun control. On Wednesday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms urged students to cut classes and walk out of schools in Fulton County.
In a proclamation issued by the mayor's office on Wednesday, Mayor Bottoms said, "Atlanta is the birthplace of the Civil Rights movement. In that spirit, the City supports the right of our youth to peacefully demonstrate and commends them for remaining engaged and passionate about this national issue."
She added: "I applaud the diligence and commitment of the young people who have galvanized a movement to effectuate change across the nation."
Cobb County public school system, which is more conservative, bolted the doors and kept students inside classrooms.
"Attorneys working with Cobb County chapter of Southern Christian Leadership Conference are on way to Lassiter and Sprayberry high schools to look into reports students were blocked from leaving school for walkout," tweeted the AJC's "Education reporter" Vanessa McCray.
Many parents criticized the mayor's office for encouraging civil disobedience in children as young as 11 or 12.
Some parents on social media wondered if Mayor Bottoms' children are running amok in the streets when they are supposed to be in class.
One parent angrily suggested filing a lawsuit if a child is run over by a car when they are supposed to be in class.
The National Walkout was organized to protest laws that allow some teachers to carry concealed weapons in schools in the aftermath of the Florida school shooting.
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Photos by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images, Joshua Spuriel/ City of Atlanta