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Civics Lesson: 12th-Graders Attend 'Occupy K Street'

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Protesters lock arms to block the street in a confrontation with police during Occupy K Street Dec. 7.
Markette Smith
Protesters lock arms to block the street in a confrontation with police during Occupy K Street Dec. 7.

For some, yesterday's "Occupy K Street" protests were a lesson in civics. Among the crowds demonstrating against corporate greed in D.C. was a high school government class from Maryland. 

Kathy Laughlin, a 12th-grade social studies teacher at the Sandy Spring Friends private school in Olney, Md., brought more than a dozen of her students to march along with her outside corporate lobbying firms on K Street NW Wednesday.

"I think there's a lot to be learned. First of all, for kids this age a lot of them are going to be able to vote, they're 17, 18 years old," Laughlin said as she stood on the sidelines of the protesters locking arms and blocking an intersection at 16th and K streets NW. "So for them to see democracy in action, the ability to go to protest. The right to free speech, the right to assemble. This is all the things they learn about in school."

One of the students, Jason Denaburg, admitted he maybe isn't the biggest supporter of the Occupy movement, but he added that it was interesting to see how many people came out to support it. Although he wasn't locking arms with the protesters, he does see some room for improvement when it comes to the government. 

"I think we spend too much on defense," Denaburg says. "I think defense is important, but a lot of advances can be made in education and other fields."

Not one parent refused to let their child come to the demonstration, Laughlin says.


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