Antioch students tear down flag, brawl during 'peaceful' protest - WSMV News 4

Antioch students tear down flag, brawl during 'peaceful' protest

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A video posted on Facebook shows a group of Antioch High School students tearing down an American flag. (Photo: Meylin Zavala via Facebook) A video posted on Facebook shows a group of Antioch High School students tearing down an American flag. (Photo: Meylin Zavala via Facebook)
ANTIOCH, TN (WSMV) -

While most Mid-state student walk-outs advocating for gun policy changes were peaceful and productive, videos have surfaced on social media of some Mid-state students perpetrating violence. 

At Antioch High School, social media videos captured a brawl inside the school. Outside, videos show students can be seen tearing down an American flag. 

Ahead of the rallies, Metro Schools clearly outlined the rules for students, which included staying on school property. At many campuses across Nashville, the district help students organize speakers and other special events for the walk-out. 

Across the nation, students walked of their classrooms at 10 a.m. and gathered for 17 minutes of silence to honor each person killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last month. 

Antioch High parent Joseph Reed says he's discouraged by Wednesday's events.

"What this was supposed to be is a memorial to the 17 kids who lost their lives in Parkland and I just can't believe those 17 kids. if they could look at the situation today an Antioch High School, that they would be okay with violent behavior," said Reed.

Reed says he had a conversation with his two songs before the walkout.

"My sons know they can protest anything they feel passionate about, but they also know to do it peacefully," said Reed.

He hopes the students who created the chaos are punished.

"I love this school and I support Antioch High School, and there are a lot of great things that happen here, but it is unfortunate when bad stuff happens here that it hits the news and they have a bad reputation," said Reed.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, a Metro Schools spokesperson addressed the videos, saying: 

?At MNPS, we?respect the right of our students to advocate for causes that are important to them. Unfortunately, some students on our Antioch campus today chose to protest in ways that significantly disrupted school operations and threatened the safety and order for other students and staff within our school.?Swift action was taken by school security and MNPD to address the situation. No students or staff members were injured during the walkout.? 
 
The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Inappropriate behaviors that threaten school safety will be handled immediately and firmly in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and MNPD. 
 
We understand that our students may be feeling lots of emotions, including anxiety, fear and even anger about today’s events. We encourage parents to talk to your child(ren) about how they may be feeling, and the importance of expressing themselves in appropriate ways while at school. MNPS also has counselors available and ready to talk to students at any time.    We look forward to welcoming students back tomorrow for a great day of teaching and learning. 

On Thursday morning, students gathered to put the flags back up that were taken down during the protest. They held a peaceful demonstration with the band playing the national anthem.

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