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Peace rally is Wednesday morning

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By Katie Saltz

Eighth-graders from Anderson County Middle School are exercising their First Amendment rights as a class project. Two eighth grade social studies classes will be holding a peace rally at 10:15 a.m.Wednesday on the courthouse lawn.

The idea for the rally came from social studies teacher Lisa Petrey-Kirk's classes when they were studying the Constitution. Petrey-Kirk, who is also president of the teacher's association, said to give the students an idea of how First Amendment rights have been used in history, she had them study the 1960s and the protests that occurred then.

"They studied the Bill of Rights and the importance of the First Amendment," she said. "We linked it to the 60s to give them an idea of what a protest was."

The peace rally was an optional class assignment, but Petrey-Kirk said all the students wanted to participate. After getting permission from the school, students had to get parental permission to go on a field trip. She said the rally is about peace, and is not about the current wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.

"It isn't a protest against the war, it's an 8th grade learning rally," she said.

The rally will start with a march from the public library to the courthouse lawn. Petrey-Kirk said the students will talk about peace, recite a few poems and sing a song. Parents were invited, and people that will be downtown around the time of the rally are encouraged to stop by, she said.