Elementary, junior high students also walk out to support gun safety
Junior high, middle school and elementary students in the suburbs were among those who joined in a nationwide walkout to protest gun violence Wednesday.
At Frost Junior High in Schaumburg, students reached out to the principal in advance to plan their participation, in which they walked outdoors around the school for 17 minutes in recognition of the 17 students and staffers killed a month ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. About 100 to 120 of the school's 650 students took part, District 54 spokeswoman Terri McHugh said.
Not every junior high in District 54 had students who marched, and some students said they were doing so in remembrance of those killed in Florida, rather than in protest against gun access. Like other elementary and middle schoolers in the suburbs, the District 54 students who took part remained on their school grounds.
"Our plan was to be prepared," McHugh said.
Students at all four of Palatine Township Elementary District 15's junior highs as well as some of the elementary schools participated, spokeswoman Morgan Delack said. Participation was allowed only if students initiated the conversations with their principals in advance.
The largest turnout was probably at Plum Grove Junior High in Rolling Meadows, where Delack said she saw some of the students deliver powerful, mature speeches.
Families were kept informed, even if a school anticipated no student participation at all, Delack said.
Students at Chippewa Middle School in Des Plaines Elementary District 62 also took part in the walkout, images of which were posted on the school's Facebook page.
Students across Elgin Area School District U-46 participated in different ways, including moments of silence, classroom reflections or walkouts, even at the elementary and middle school levels.
• Daily Herald staff writers Christopher Placek and Madhu Krishnamurthy contributed to this report.