Wednesday, March 14 marked National Walkout Day, in which students across the country abandoned classrooms and filled streets in protest of gun violence. For 17 minutes, each minute representing one victim who died during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Roosevelt participated in their own rally.
Signs reading “Fear Has No Place in Schools” and anti-NRA chants built across Michigan Avenue near Grant Park, as Roosevelt students, faculty and staff stood in solidarity with the hundreds of victims to senseless gun violence — especially in schools — that have been claimed across the U.S.
A handful of students shared their thoughts about what the day meant to them and the Roosevelt community.
“I’m protesting today because I believe the lives that have been lost are way too valuable to not use the voices we have. The people who have passed unfortunately don’t have a voice, so it is up to us to voice what is wrong and what has happened is wrong. The fact that Congress refuses to acknowledge this fact shows they care about money and not the repercussions of the violence.”
- Alonda Ibarra, junior, SGA President
“I’m here because I believe there needs to be some form of gun reform implemented. It is beyond time that we take care of our children in the United States.”
- David Hoff, senior
“I’m sick and tired of innocent lives being lost and I want to take a stand with young adults, junior high students, high school students and college students to get people in the know of what’s actually going on. We need to make a change, even if it means standing outside for a bit and making our voices heard.”
- Carmen Guerrero, junior
“I think it’s important for students to protest because this is a problem that only our generation, along with the one after us, understands. This was as big a problem back when we were in high school, so we are able to empathize with these kids. Our parents’ generation and those before them didn’t look at mass shootings as a regular occurrence growing up, so while they may see this as an issue, they simply can’t empathize on the same level.”
- Ryann Rosenberger, sophomore
Social Media Response
— Jac (@jbutzen1103) March 14, 2018
As we arrived to a college fair today @RooseveltU students were starting their #NationalWalkoutDay. People joined them with signs, chants and silent reverence. I was honored to be a small part of a large student voice movement that I hope ripples not just through the country (1) pic.twitter.com/xuIzchAvbk
— Jen Ciok (@ACTforEducation) March 14, 2018
— Abbey Springer (@AbbeySprings13) March 14, 2018