Anti-Consolidation Forces Rally Outside Capitol as Legislators Gather

December 8, 2003 - Posted at 4:33 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - So many children showed up at an anti-school consolidation rally at the state Capitol on Monday that guards had to turn some students away as legislators prepared for a special session.

Some criticized decisions to pull the students out of school for a day.  But rural school advocates called the gathering a civics lesson of the first order.

Lavina Grandon is a rally organizer and English teacher from the Valley Springs School District in northern Arkansas and said the event was an important educational experience.

There was no immediate crowd estimate, but the number of students was easily in the hundreds.  Guards told some children that they would have to wait to enter the Capitol until after some other students left.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)