About 50 Wilde Lake High School students demonstrated near the Columbia school last week as part of a national youth protest against a possible war with Iraq. Throughout the day, students at Mount Hebron, Centennial and Howard high schools also left class wearing shirts with peace signs painted on them and carrying signs.

The protest at Wilde Lake was the largest, with about 50 students participating. The students had tried to camp out in front of the school, but school administrators sent them across the street, saying that protesting on school property was prohibited.

Principal John Quinn said he asked students not to participate and told them teachers would be available to help them write letters to Congress instead.

"I basically said, 'Please don't put me in a position where I have to enforce school rules,' " he said.

Quinn said protesters who were late to class were simply marked tardy.

An official at Wilde Lake High School orders students back into the school when they try to join fellow classmates protesting the possible war with Iraq.Protest organizer Alysa Procida gives interviews to reporters after the antiwar demonstration at noon. The rally was cut short by officials at the Columbia school.