Over 100 Naperville Central students made their way to Rotary Hill on the morning of April 20 to make the Carillon their platform for speaking out against gun violence.
“You don’t talk to everybody in a 3000 person high school. You never know where people stand. You don’t know if people are going to be on the same side as you,” said student organizer Ben Russell. “But to see all these people come out and show support for a cause that you understand and you want change for, and to know not only that it’s happening here but it’s happening in this city in other places, this state in other places, and all over this country it’s absolutely amazing.”
The walkout marked the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, which remains ever relevant to the movement.
“Parkland and Newtown…I thought Columbine was the exception I didn’t think it would be the norm. Enough is enough,” said Cynthia Mundell, a member of the League of Women Voters who joined the walkout.
Showing support for students were members of the League Of Women Voters, Moms Demand Action, and parents, some of which even gave speeches.
“And we are here now to support you. To raise up your voices, to follow your leadership, because you are on the front lines, you are the ones who are the most at risk, and we have let you down so it is now time for us to support you,” said Holly Joy, a volunteer for Moms Demand Action.
And to continue the momentum, students handed out price tags created by March For Our Lives, in an effort to support gun reform.
“Well these price tags are representing how much money the NRA takes per person that dies. So many politicians take money from the NRA so we’re representing how much money the NRA takes per death,” explained student organizer Lindsay Powell.
Nationally that price averages to $1.18 per student, while Illinois’ average is one of the lowest compared to other states at three cents per student.
But that $1.18 adds up when you look at the numbers, especially for students.
“Of the 96 people killed by fire arms per day, 47 are children and teens, from age zero to 19,” added Joy in her speech to the crowd.
The walkout also had stations for students to write letters to local representatives and register to vote.
Students from all five high schools within Districts 203 and 204 took part in the previous walkout on March 14.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.
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