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A handful of afternoon skirmishes broke out in crowded Downtown Crossing, as protesters gathered there alongside a large group of Boston police who ordered them to disperse.

Who says students don’t care about their education?

CBS News reports that a sea of Boston Public School students flooded sidewalks near the State House Monday to protest proposed cuts to the education budget.

Boston’s public school system faces an estimated $50 million deficit, according to Boston.com. Officials blame rising costs combined with a decline in state and federal aid for the budget shortfall.

Protest organizers urged public school students across the city to walk out of class at 11:30 a.m. Monday, advising them “don’t look back” if a teacher says something.

The Twitter post warns of dire consequences if severe budget cuts go into effect. It says education cuts would prevent students from admittance to the “college of your dreams.”

Boston.com interviewed Daphne Partridge, a sixth-grader who weighed the possibility of suspension before answering the call to walk out of class:

“At our school we’re worried about language programs being taken away, but now that we’re here [at the rally] we see the ways all the other schools are affected. It’s crazy how many kids are here. But it makes me feel like I have a voice.”

CBS News said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was torn. He gave this on-air comment to CBS’s radio station, WBZ:

“I would much prefer the students not march, walking out of school. I think they should stay in school, but the fact that it’s happened and they’ve done it, I commend them for their advocacy.”

Walsh told WBZ that he and lawmakers are working diligently to address the budget challenge.

SOURCE: CBS News, Boston.com | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: Inform

SEE ALSO:

Obama’s Budget Seeks Funding For Socioeconomic School Integration

Missouri GOP Lawmakers Propose Budget Cuts To Punish Mizzou Protesters

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