More than 2,000 students stood in silence on the West Aurora High School football on Wednesday in a student-led demonstration in support of 17 peers shot killed exactly one month ago in Florida.
The student-led action was among dozens around the Chicago area and several schools within the city of Chicago that joined with thousands of students nationwide beginning at 10 a.m. in each time zone and lasting for 17 minutes — one for each victim
“For some it might be showing their representatives that we want gun control,” said senior Alonso Cisneros. “For some it might be a symbol of supporting the students that were killed and that we are doing something here in Aurora to make a difference.”
Activist and articulate students from Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have pushed for stricter gun controls in Florida and nationwide.
Their efforts have resonated throughout the country as larger gatherings are planned on March 24 in Washington, D.C., Chicago and other cities large and small.
“My purpose? I don’t want it to happen again,” said West junior Ella Peters-Gonzales. “I don’t know what the answer is, but by youth and kids banding together I think we’re so close to finding a solution.”
Reactions by school administrators to Wednesday’s planned and proposed walkouts varied widely.
East Aurora High School and District 300 and northern Kane County discouraged walkouts. At least one district reportedly planned disciplinary action against students who walked out.
Others, like West Aurora, fully cooperated with student leaders while limiting access for safety and security as outdoor events were underway.
In Naperville, community members and media were kept away from an outdoor student gathering as police and school administrators blockaded all entrances to Naperville North High School.
That left community members and media as well as non-student gun control supporters and 2nd Amendment advocates on the outside looking in.
— Suburban students join in nationwide walkouts over gun violence —-