By Sandra Rose  | 

Mayor Lance Bottoms

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."

Mayor Lance Bottoms

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

  • You Could Never

    Other mayors did too. so GOOD job to the ATL mayor for doing as SOME OTHER mayors...her counterparts... around the country did, AS WELL

  • hi-liter

    For a damn good reason.....

  • Miss Thang

    She is inciting them, but anyway, she is a very pretty lady.

  • Yardgirl

    They did it here in CT and it is for a good cause!! Young people are apathetic and it is good to see them standing up for something this important.

  • ShelbyMoore

    That's ridiculous. Most of the principals gave the kids permission to walk out. I know in my area, the kids are all allowed to shoot the bird and step! These kids have a voice and their voices should be heard. Fawk these old as$ mugfugs with their NRA memberships.

  • DeeFromLA

    Kids are walking out all over the country today. In most major cities. The teachers are also with them so how is that cutting class?

  • Nikkiknows

    This is how we get the kids ready for the political warfare they will encounter in their future, because it's going to take YEARS to fix the mess that Trump has done in just 2 years. #resist!

  • Diva_woman

    Don’t disagree with her ?????. This will teach them a valuable life lesson that can’t be taught in a classroom

  • Jahnée Gill Mr.Eddie Murphy??

    Gun control is a double edged sword. They'll take the guns from the people only to use them on the people.

    The only way gun control laws will pass is if more blacks started buying them and joining the NRA. The second amendment was never ment for black people.

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    This is a worthy cause, and this is an important moment for our society as far as the gun issue is concerned. So I dont have a problem with this at all.

  • Scromes1212

    It's good that kids are making there voices heard. I wish the adults pushing for gun control would base the argument more on mental health. Basing it on murders is going to be hard considering it is basically at a all time low. Mental health is a bigger issue right now. Suicide by gun is twice as high as murder by gun.

  • datjerk

    I don't see the issue

  • iWasteTime

    Good for her!
    This is worth it.
    If history has taught us anything it is that the young and motivated enact the most change.

  • Trey

    But dont the kids have to come back to school?...Its supposed to bw a staged walk out....

  • angrysolo

    a lot of things gotta change and quick

  • MissHarlem

    Your most valuable lessons in life is outside of the classroom. I like her approach in constantly involving the youth. Understanding that it's the future so involving them and making them comfortable with adult issues is great.

  • JV

    "One parent angrily suggested filing a lawsuit if a child is run over by a car when they are supposed to be in class."
    Yeah, ok. I'm sure that's worked the thousands of other times a child was supposed to be in school and voluntarily wasn't.

    They're learning a lot more about civic engagement today than they perhaps ever have in a classroom.

  • Tazzy

    My boys’ high school organized a walkout. Students who wanted to, walked out, stood outside with selected staff and the principals, had a moment of silence and walked back into the schools. The superintendent sent an email applauding students for standing for their rights and wanted to ensure it was done appropriately. My oldest son (17) participated, but my younger son (14) decided against it.

  • You Could Never

    13 year old participated. I was proud. Said she got irritiated bc some other kids were making dumb remarks and totally missed the point of doing it (its cold out here, how much longer, maybe I shouldnt have participated) and her and her small group moved off by themselves. She has a low tolerance for mess lol.

  • You Could Never

    And leave it to my high school to act an ASS on today during the walkout.
    Had some kind of threat and it didnt happen for those students.

  • Kemi

    I’m glad they’re participating in this and being vocal about stricter gun laws. And it touches my heart they’re also doing this in memoriam to those killed by school shootings.

  • klwbaby

    I don't think they were running amok. I thought they were going to go outside for 17 minutes then return to class.

  • Mama Dee’s Wig Maker

    Nothing wrong with what she's doing. I applaud the students as well.

  • MissHarlem

    I'm such a proud damn auntie you don't even know ??

  • Stationarity


  • Stationarity

    My son’s school changed their schedule so it would be during Club period and no one would miss school work. For some reason my 14 year old didn’t want to walk out. I was kind of disappointed because he said “He didn’t feel like it”. What does that even mean...

    Some school administrators are juat better than others!


    We protested and walked out when I was in high school in the 90's, I went straight to the Chinese restaurant and went home to take a nap.

  • Stationarity

    This article was kind of enlightening to me. I am not saying that mental health is not an issue and shouldn’t be a focus but this quote from a psychologist stuck out...
    “But there are no reliable cures for insecurity, resentment, entitlement and hatred.”

  • You Could Never

    Lol. Why thanks!

  • Indies beauty

    There is a law passed in the 60's protecting a student's right to protest within a school. Legally the students can participate and should not be reprimanded... that is unless the school categorizes their behavior as disruptive or insubordination.

  • PLEASEDontTellMe

    FACTS are important. This is National School Walkout Day. It's a civil and peaceful protest against school violence and gun control. Keisha didn't create the day, but is supporting the message, just like all other mayors and other leaders.

  • MsPam

    My question is would white folks protest if black kids got shot at school?! Look at that poor girl in Alabama who was “ accidentally shot?!” Oh I forgot she was black and a female! I was asking for a friend fresh off of the boat.

  • Liah

    I would've encouraged my child to do the same!...So proud of them!

  • mark1984

    she did right...notice she said PEACEFUL
    she trying to get in front stop people from messing up the city

  • mark1984

    true, but I was thinking earlier today that we all need to stop this race stuff.
    all of us with biracialness, biracial family members, extended family of other cultures, friends of other cultures, wives husbands, etc we need to get together to rise up and end this

  • Simone

    LMAO! I went to the burger stand.

  • mona q

    Thank You!!!!!!!!!

  • mona q

    My son's school was closed today due to snow but the principal sent an email saying that the kids would not have had any consequences if they had walked out. They were encouraging the students to stay and have 17 minutes of silence but that if anyone wanted to walk out it wasn't an issue as long as they communicated with their parents that they were doing so.

  • mona q

    Well our school said the students could have left if they wanted to without consequence as long as the parents knew. They were encouraging they not do it...the school was closed today due to weather so it didn't happen anyway.

  • Quitedeliteful

    One parent angrily suggested filing a lawsuit if a child is run over by a car when they are supposed to be in class.
    This parent needs to get a grip.... LOLLOLLOL!!!!

  • Quitedeliteful

    I'm Team National Walkout Day. I'm glad the Mayor is supporting this...

  • Quitedeliteful

    LMBAOFFFFF!!!! (I would have done the same thing...)

  • MsPam

    That’s true, sometimes I get caught up!

  • Roderick2011


    Remember what happened when the Black Panthers took over California's statehouse--Reagan couldn't sign that gun control bill quickly enough.

    White people are such hypocrites and liars.

  • LeeSeeCee

    These students have the RIGHT to protest. Schools cannot impede the freedom of speech of the children. It is important that children LEARN about their rights and what better time than an issue that affects them where they go to learn. All schools should have embraced this walkout and used it as a teachable moment, not meting out punishment or actively discouraging students from learning about the power of using their voices. This mayor got in front of the issue and supported these kids.

  • Dreadboi

    So you wouldnt have a problem if kids and the nra held a similar rally for 2 nd amendent rights and for the enforcement of current gun laws already on the books??

    New guns laws won't stop mass shooting at schools,parks,social events and the likes like you people who want guns taken away think they will.. Criminals could give a rats bottom about gun laws so who would these so-called new gun laws protect???

  • dontgetblocked

    A useless protest and a waste of time. Kids need to be kids and sit down and learn. We as adults need to figure out how to keep them safe in school. Furthermore, the last time I checked, it was the rich white schools or country redneck schools getting shot up. Just regular old gang violence in and around black schools. Why do we always have to jump up and join white people problems?Believe you me...they're not traveling to the hood to protest the daily bullets those kids witness. We always got to be seen. Never know how to sit back and observe somebody else's turmoil!

  • Jahnée Gill Mr.Eddie Murphy??

    Thank you !

    It's amazing how quickly THEY move when they feel they're being hunted.

  • mark1984

    no ms p, I was saying in general

  • MsPam

    I was kind of talking to myself when I reply to your comment!

  • Enoughsaid2020

    Stand for something, or you will fall for anything. I hope the students turning 18, will walk out, and vote in the mid-terms, maybe we might see some change.

  • Allihave2say

    To be clear:
    Nationwide we support the majority of white kid protesters skipping school for gun control but not black men for kneeling because they're tired of blacks being gunned down by the police?

  • kekeb

    Criticize her for approving that $26 MILLION DOLLAR BRIDGE which would lead Falcons fans (and others) from the Vine City transit station to the. Mercedes Benz stadium. But DON'T criticize her for this

  • ReadingIsFundamental4Real

    My daughter's school did this for 17 minutes in support of the most recent 17 victims. It was a whole production We live in Cali now so whatever... i'm from Texas...deep Texas; it's not the kind of thing we protest. Instead, we had other ways to dal with this shitt... No judgement; just different. I supported her doing it. I'm just not built to have the right conversation about it. She will grow up liberal and I was raised conservative. Lord, give me the strength..

  • MistaO

    It is irresponsible for a person in a leadership role to encourage cutting class, no matter the cause. Do better..

  • MistaO

    Say it again!!

  • MistaO

    Ooowee tellit!!!!

  • Jefferey Franklin

    Weren't those other kids being praised skipping class to protest gun rights in Florida, they were applauded and held as heroic

    One parent angrily suggested filing a lawsuit if a child is run over by a car when they are supposed to be in class.

    Its always different when its the "other" people who do it


    SANDRA SHUT UP SPEAKING FOR TRUMP. What did she do wrong? Tell children to get involved with gun control since it's most of them that's dying. What about the child that was shot in class by a teacher? They say accident I say not because any time a gun is put in a class there is always a chance that it will discharge.

  • Anonymouse

    Incredibly irresponsible leadership. But then again, I shouldn’t be surprised.