Students participate in St. Louis protests

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Students in the St. Louis area are protesting the acquittal of a white former police officer in the fatal shooting of a black man.

In the suburb of Kirkwood, about 100 high school students walked out of their first-hour classes. District spokeswoman Ginger Cayce says they marched to the school’s football stadium, where a couple of students spoke. Cayce says students who organized the protest notified the school about their plans, although the students’ absences weren’t excused.

In nearby Webster Groves, about 250 high school students also protested Monday morning. District superintendent John Simpson described the action as “peaceful” in a tweet, but he didn’t describe the nature of the protest.

The student demonstrations come in response to a judge’s decision Friday to acquit Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.