GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Dozens of middle and high school students packed MGCCC Saturday afternoon. But, they weren't there to take college courses.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi hosted workshops designed to inform students about their rights.
"This is our third annual Schoolhouse Rights Rock event. It is a know your rights event for students, and parents, and also advocates," said Educational Opportunity Advocacy Coordinator, Aisha Carson. "They get a chance to come in and learn about their rights inside of school and also outside of school."
The goal of the program is to not only educate kids about their rights, but it also teaches them how to interact with law enforcement.
"We always tell people not to try to argue a case on the side of the road. Leave that to a court room. What we want them to do is be safe," added Carson.
One face in the crowd was 17-year-old Joseph Lawrence. One of his main concerns is learning what do if he ever comes into contact with the police.
"First thing I would do is show him respect and follow basic procedures," said Lawrence.
Lawrence attended the workshop with a mentor organization, The League of Distinguished Gentlemen. He hopes that what he learns can help him as he goes through life.
"You have to know your rights being in school. You have to school, and do what you're supposed to do to be educated in life and be successful," said Lawrence.