March 14, 2018, 10 am, students will walk out of their classrooms and schools, walking for the lives lost in a Florida high school.
March 14, that is the set date for a student-organized national walkout honoring the lives of the 17 students and faculty that died during the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Florida. The walkout originated as a trending tag on Twitter. #walkout became a reality when students at high schools across the nation began planning a walkout that would take place on the same day everywhere, and this became what is now known by the public as National Walkout Day.
Many schools in the Chicago-land area and its suburbs have chosen to observe the walkout, although there has been a backlash from the administration in some cases, thousands of students plan to participate in the national walkout, including students at our very own Niles North High School (NNHS). Students at NNHS are very supportive of the walkout, and they have good reason to, as they have received two bomb threats since the Parkland shooting, and were evacuated from the school because of one of these bomb threats on Feb. 21.
Students at NNHS have been very involved in events like these before, and have been active in planning the events of the walkout at the school, hosting a sign-making event on March 13, the day before the walkout, inviting all students to make signs honoring the victims of the Parkland shooting, and calling for reform in gun laws nationwide. “The walkout signifies something greater than Niles North, something bigger than our community, it signifies something for America as a whole,” said Leo Jalloh, senior, and his words hold true, as the political climate over the issue has been extremely heated, with Republican officials pushing back against protests and reforms. “The student body feels strongly about the walkout, mainly because we feel the need to protest for a more secure and comfortable learning environment where you don’t have to be scared that someone might walk in and start shooting,” said Madison Precht, sophomore. The sentiments expressed by the student reflect that of much of the student body, and those sentiments are the strongest moving force behind the organization of the walkout.
The Niles North student body has worked extremely hard to put together the school’s participation in the national walkout day, and hope that the schools in America can become a welcome, friendly place once again.