For our schools, In our streets

alt text By Arlana Shikongo, Education and Youth Editor, The Chi

On April 20, students around the nation staged School Walkouts to protest gun violence and for increased gun control. They chose this day because it marked the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting massacre of 1999.

Students have vehemently been protesting for increased gun control since the Feb. 14 Parkland, Fla.,  shooting that left 17 dead. They’re saying “enough is enough”, and for students in Chicago, that extends beyond just gun violence.

After walking out of their respective schools, students swarmed to Grant Park and after chanting and sharing their poems and stories, were escorted to the Federal Plaza by a convoy of police.

As they walked, their path was lit with a roaring sea of orange as many students donned orange shirts and bandanas. Students were clad in orange attire because in 2013 the color was adopted to show resistance against gun violence across the country following the shooting of Hadiya Pendleton, age 15, in Chicago.  

“We were upset about the way our last walkout was handled, specifically how it failed to touch on the gun violence that occurs so close to home,” explained Rebecca Gross, a freshman at Francis W. Parker High School. She is one of the leaders of Chicago Student Walkout, a group made up of Chicago students who decided to unite in order to organize effectively, “be heard and get things done regarding lawmaking and the government”, Gross explained.

Student organizers said that this is not the last walkout they plan on having, and the ultimate goal is to see actual policy change take effect.