Students Stage Walkout Demanding Action From Congress On Gun Violence
More than 500 high school students, teachers and parents from a Chicago suburb participated in a walk-out Wednesday protesting gun violence and calling for gun law reform. It came after 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at a high school in Florida last week.
Oak Park and River Forest High School students walked out of class and circled the block for a half hour to call for gun law reform.
Student organizers say this particular walk-out was organized in less than an hour through social media. They say it was designed to be more of a dry run for protests planned for March 14th and April 20th.
High school junior and walk-out organizer Ev Berger-Wolf says potential punishment doesn’t seem to be much of a concern this time around. He says the stakes might be higher for students in the April walk-out, which is supposed to last the whole day.
“I care more about this issue as a national issue and what can happen in the government more than, personally, what can happen to my grades,” he said.
School spokeswoman Karin Sullivan says a note was sent to families right before the walk-out. She says police were notified and participants were allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights.
“While on the one hand, our goal is to preserve the educational environment," Sullivan said, "we also fully recognize our students’ right to make their voices heard.”
Sullivan says school officials do not anticipate any disciplinary action resulting from the walk-out. She says even the school’s principal came out to support the demonstration.