Several police officers were needed this morning to keep the students and the public safe. As soon as the students left John Tyler High School, more than 40 Tyler Police and Smith County Sheriff's Deputies patrolled the streets along the protest route. According to the Tyler City Ordinance, it's against the law to conduct a parade on any public street without having a parade permit, except for the following: picketing or other peaceful demonstrations at a fixed location that is not a street, or sidewalk processions conducted in accordance with all traffic regulations and other applicable laws. Students did cross several streets, and at times roads were blocked, but police say the students were not breaking the law because they stayed on the sidewalk.
"They can't get out in the middle of the street, just walk down the street and impede traffic, but again we kept them on the sidewalk as much as possible," said Officer Don Martin, Tyler Police Department. Other violations did take place.
"They were violating normal laws, in other words they had people in the back of the pick-up that were under 18 years old, and they might not have been wearing their seat belts," said Officer Martin. "The traffic violations we handled separately."
"I think the police acted appropriately," said Tyler Mayor Joey Seeber. "It was not a violent group. It was not something that people were injured." It was a morning full of events that police say ended peacefully.