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Illinois students insisted they be punished for National School Walkout as a 'badge of honor

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Students share thoughts about gun violence on Wednesday after walking out of their classes at Community Links High School in Chicago. About 1,100 students at Downers Grove Community High School participated in the walkout, and the superintendent said the students welcomed the punishment. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

More than 1,000 students at an Illinois high school got detention for leaving school during Wednesday’s National School Walkout, and the superintendent said the students welcomed the punishment, WBBM-TV reported.

What happened?

About 1,100 students at Downers Grove Community High School participated in the National School Walkout to protest in favor of stricter gun control laws.

They all received detention.

But superintendent Hank Thiele said even while administration was considering being more lenient, the students told them not to, viewing the punishment as a “badge of honor.”

“If you read their accounts in the school newspaper, you will see our students take great pride in standing up for what they believe in,” Thiele said. “Many feel that a detention for leaving class is a small price to exercise their rights and draw attention to their cause. When several of our student leaders heard that some schools were not assigning consequences, they shared with administration they didn’t feel this was a good idea."

“Students believed that in order to be taken seriously, they should show they are committed enough to receive a consequence,” he said in an email to WBBM.

What were other responses?

While some schools assigned detention to hundreds of students, and others threatened suspensions for leaving school, there were numerous schools around the nation that supported the students walking out for 17 minutes for the demonstration.

Three students in Arkansas reportedly received corporal punishment, or "swats," for walking out.

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