by: Tom Jones Updated:
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - Students at a Clayton County high school face punishment for walking out of school and holding an unauthorized rally in support of Trayvon Martin.
Students at Mount Zion High School were told to either accept a suspension or write an essay about the pros and cons of civil unrest. Some students don't think the punishment is fair.
"It's our God given right as Americans to protest what we feel is unjustice," senior Juan Ortiz said.
Students walked out of the school and held the rally just before school ended March 26. They held signs and chanted “RIP Trayvon Martin.” Martin is the 17-year-old Florida boy who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch captain.
"We didn't think it was justful (sic) what happened to that young boy," Ortiz told Channel 2’s Tom Jones.
Someone posted a video of the rally on YouTube.
Freshman Michael Scott disagrees with the punishment but appreciates the options the school is giving students.
"I kind of like the option that they gave us to write an essay. That way, we can get our point across of the whole reason that we were trying to do it," Scott said.
The school system said the unauthorized rally jeopardized the student’s safety and their learning opportunities. One student still says they don't deserve to be punished.
"I think the ones that are being unjust is the school system," Ortiz said.
The school system said it wanted to teach students about the choices they make and the consequences. That's why school officials wanted to give the students a choice in which punishment they will receive.