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Worried Norwalk Students Take to Protesting

NORWALK, Conn. – Worried about their future and that of the children around them, four Girl Scouts had a message for Norwalk motorists Tuesday: "Save Our City, Save Our Schools."

They joined more than 100 adults on the lawn of City Hall, getting honks of support from passing motorists as they held up signs about the budget crisis faced by Norwalk Public Schools. It was the second protest organized by Norwalk mom Barbara Smyth.

"Our little future activists," Smyth said of the children, who were trying to make a difference in a rally before Tuesday's Board of Education meeting.

"If we don't get an education, we can't support a family," said Megan Griffin, 10. "We can't go through college. We can't get the jobs we dream of. Girls who dream of being superstars can't be superstars."

"They can't be fashion designers," her friends said. "They can't be mathematicians."

"I think kids need education, they lead to the colleges, they lead to the jobs, to the good lives," said Gabby Welsh, 6, a Columbus Magnet School student.

Gabby is worried her school might close. "I'm going to miss my teachers and I'm really sad," she said. "It was on the newspaper."

"What are they going to do if their school closes? I feel so bad for them. They can't close," said Julianna Cowan, 10, who, like the other children, was taking part in her first protest.

The kids had heard Wolfpit Elementary might close next year.

Superintendent Susan Marks said their fears for this year were groundless, but added that school closings might be an issue next year.

"I have not recommended any closings of schools," Marks said after the BOE meeting. "I think parents are concerned because we're cutting teachers, but I do not recommend any closing of schools. I don't think we have studied that enough. I think the board needs to do that next year, look at our boundaries."

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