MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A number of Minnesota high school and college students expressed their disappointment with the Ferguson, Missouri outcome by walking out of school.

They joined students who staged walkouts in more than 50 cities across the country on Monday.

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At Johnson High School in St. Paul, nearly 50 students braved the cold to stand up for what they believe in.

The group walked three and a half miles to the State Capitol grounds.

Eli Lartey is one of the student organizers of the event.
“As the next generation of people to run this planet, we must ask ourselves, will we sit passively as injustice runs rampant in our justice system or will we take a stand?” he asked the group as they assembled outside the school just after noon.

They were joined by students who drove there from Central High School,.

“What we are doing here is not just because of Ferguson. This is because it is happening all around. Look at just a few years ago in Minneapolis, with Fong Lee. This is not just about Mike Brown, it’s about other people, other minorities who have faced police abuse,” said student Victor Yang.

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A grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson on any charges last week. Last August, Wilson shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson. Some witnesses had said Brown had his hands up before Wilson shot him.

“We are doing this as part of an organized national walk out today to raise awareness about police brutality throughout the U.S.,” Lartey said.

A spokesperson for St. Paul Public Schools said, “We respect students’ first amendment right to peacefully assemble. However, if students walk out of school, district procedure is that they should not return to the school for the remainder of the day, they should not participate in after school activities.”

The spokesperson said teachers would be allowed to give students unexcused absences “with any appropriate consequences.”

On the national front, it doesn’t appear a group of NFL players will face punishment for showing a sign of solidarity with those upset over the Ferguson decision. Before Sunday’s game, five St. Louis Rams players stood with their hands raised.

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The St. Louis Police Officers Association called the football players’ gesture “tasteless” and asked the NFL to punish them. In a statement on Monday, the NFL said, “We respect and understand the concerns of all individuals who have expressed views on this tragic situation.”