Teachers gathered at the Capitol Friday to protest the reopening of schools in Mississippi due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state.

The protest was organized by Mississippi Teachers Unite. The group is demanding that the reopening of schools should be postponed until Sept. 1 for the safety for teachers and students. The group also wants schools to meet the current guidelines provided by the CDC before the start of in-person classes. Lastly, the group demands that schools to be fully funded so districts and teachers do not have to use their own funds for personal protective equipment.

Here are images from the protest:

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Eric J. Shelton was a 2018 corps member in Report for America, and joined the team as our first photojournalist. A native of Columbia, Miss., Eric earned his bachelor’s in photojournalism from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was a multimedia journalist for Abilene Reporter-News, chief photographer for the Hattiesburg American and photo editor for the Killeen Daily Herald before joining our team June 2018. He rejoined Mississippi Today as our health photojournalist in January 2022.