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The Student Senate at Evanston Township High School held a “very successful” meeting Thursday to hear suggestions from students for enhancing their previously announced pro-gun-control walkout scheduled for March 14.

“We had several new students come in to support our efforts and pitch some new ideas,” said Emma Stein, a senior and Senate president.

Stein, who rated the meeting as “very successful,” added that the walkout is encouraging more students to become involved in activism.

Some of the ideas, she said, “included asking student poets to perform word pieces about gun violence at the event and hosting a sign-making party to raise awareness before March 14.”

As it now stands, participating students will leave the school at 10 a.m., which is the end of second period, and will walk to the school’s football stadium on the north side of Church Street opposite the main campus.

There will be a moment of silence for victims of gun violence, Stein said, before invited speakers will make their remarks.

“We are in the process of securing speakers for the rest of the event,” she added, “but the event will conclude with a designated time slot to contact representatives.”

The student organizers are “working with other Chicagoland high schools to tie up legislators’ phone lines in a call for unwavering dedication to common-sense gun control legislation,” Stein added.

In the process, she said, organizers “are also trying to encourage all students to get involved in the political process, and make it as easy as possible for them to advocate for their beliefs.”

Related stories:

ETHS students to join gun control walkout

ETHS students planning March 14 walkout on guns

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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17 Comments

  1. Nothing common-sense about this

    As soon as you see something being advertised as common-sense, realize you are being mis-informed. Glad to see my tax dollars being wasted by ungrateful “kids” who are too lazy to demonstrate on their own time.

    1. It’s really bigly common-sense
      The concept behind any protest is to disrupt the norm to maximize attention to a cause. This is exactly what these ‘lazy’ kids are doing during school hours by exercising their constitutional right to peaceably assemble.

      How exactly are these kids wasting your tax dollars?

      I will be fully supporting my daughter and any other ETHS student who takes a proactive stance for tighter gun control, including banning military assault weapons of any kind. There is no common-sense reasoning for these types of weapons in our society.

      Condoleeza Rice, a Conservative , said it well just last week when she posited that it’s now time to look at the 2nd amendment in the context of today’s world. Times and technology have changed drastically in 240 years.

      The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.

      1. I fully support the students
        I don’t have any children at ETHS, but I’ve asked my daughter who will matriculate to ETHS next year whether she would like to attend the walk out as well. I will likely take time off work to attend with her if she wants to go.

        This is a real life application of civics studies, and a valuable educational experience.

        Don’t see any “waste” of taxpayers’ money here.

        I’m really impressed with how the ETHS student government is planning this and working through the logistics. Valuable lessons that can be applied in the workplace projects when they’re adults.

      2. Curious…..You say “Military

        Curious…..You say “Military Assault Weapons”….Do you think the US Military is using many semi automatic AR-15’s in actual war? I’m pretty sure the Military is using Full Automatic (with ability to switch to single fire) weapons. Which are in fact already illegal. Just want to make sure you are not using a wrong description to get your point across. I am all for debate but please try not to use incorrect descriptions to try to get your point to take.

        1. See the NYT 3/2/18
          page 10 for weapons used in recent attacks and how civilian and military weapons differ

        2. Actually the AR-15 was born as a military weapon.
          ArmaLite [AR] actually did develop the AR-15 as a military rifle back in the 1950’s. So technically it is a military weapon by birth even though not used in the military these days.

    2. From my perspective, if its

      From my perspective, if its students (versus from adults), its fine. Many universities are saying to their students and faculties that class will go on and that each professor can decide how to handle students missing class, in line with their syllabi. The ACLU has said that a school does have the right to penalize students who choose to walk-out, but that the school/teachers cannot punish them additionally for their actions being protest-related. I would add that the school/teachers shouldn’t withhold the normal consequences either, just because it’s “advocacy.”

      For me, the other caution would be respecting the viewpoints and decisions of students who choose not to walk out/demonstrate.

      In D65, the schools make the kids “do” activism via the Stand Against Racism during the school day. I question the idea of the public schools compelling students to participate in political acts, even ones that are easy to rally behind. It’s not free speech if someone makes (or coerces) you into saying and doing it.

  2. ETHS

    We are fortunate to have high school students taking a stand and lead the way on a very serious problem that our current generation of politicians appear incapable or unwilling to address in a substantive way. As a baby boomer It makes me hopeful for a better future and can’t wait until leaders from this young generation come to political power. 

  3. Judgin by the test scores.
    Judging by the latest test score declines, these kids might be learning more outside the classroom.

  4. Messages
    We’ll here the same conflicting messages from these people.

    1. “We want something done about guns!”

    2. “We can’t have tougher punishment for gun crime because it leads to mass incarceration and affects marginalized communities!”

  5. What is D202 and D65 doing to keep our kids safe?
    I bet teachers and school admins at ETHS and elsewhere are encouraging students to protest for more gun control and yet they are likely not discussing the complexities of the issue. Because if they had, students would be protesting for SAFER SCHOOLS!!!

    As we know, Cruz, despite the countless bad behaviour in school, posting pics of his guns and threatening students and promising to become a “professional school shooter,” his school never arrested him or expelled him but shipped him around the district likely in part due to a notion that the reason more minorities land in jail is because they were disciplined in high school.

    Cruz’s threats to kill two teens at his high school could have constituted aggravated cyberstalking, a felony, said Louis, the former Miami-Dade prosecutor. They could also violate state law against issuing written threats to kill. Being charged with aggravated cyberstalking could have prevented Cruz from possessing the weapon he used to kill 17 people. A condition of bond for felony stalking charges in Broward is the surrender of all firearms.

    So why didn’t Florida school officials and others take action and arrest Cruz who texted one student – “I have guns … I will kill you,” as well as sending a photo of at least six weapons laid out on his bed. He told another student he would kill her and her family. Both students reported the threats to school officials.

    “Just a few months ago, the superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, Robert W. Runcie, was actually bragging about how student arrests had plummeted under his leadership. When he took over in 2011, the district had “the highest number of school-related arrests in the state.” But he boasted, Broward has “one of the lowest rates of arrest in the state.” By the simple expedient of ignoring criminal behavior, student arrests had declined by a whopping 78 percent.”

    School bureaucrats including D202 say they are trying to end the “school to prison pipeline” by reducing suspensions and expulsions and refraining from contacting police or making referrals to the criminal justice system in some cases. The idea is that students of color are victims of a white supremacist society and thus there is a coordinated effort in schools such as Parkland and ETHS to reduce suspensions and expulsions of minorities. (Cruz is an hispanic name).

    So while some folks demand more gun control they ignore the larger problem. People at Parkland, the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, DCFS, mental health counselors and the FBI all agreed not to arrest, report or prosecute the dangerous student, Cruz, who made repeated violent threats and attacked students at school and elsewhere.

    I am sure Evanston parents would LOVE to know how D202 and D65 are going to keep our kids safe when it intentionally put policies in place to reduce suspensions and expulsions.

    An ETHS high school student strangely living in Chicago was arrested off campus last week in a shooting death in Evanston. He was bad hombre, probably in a gang. I’d love to see the school records on him and see if he exhibited bad behaviour in school.

    With a gang presence in Evanston, there’s a risk of an elementary or middle school student stealing a gun from an older brother, uncle etc and taking it to school. I don’t believe there are metal detectors there and backpacks aren’t’ checked. In 2005, a 7 year old found a loaded gun in a bathroom at Kingsley. Parents complained they weren’t informed until days later.

    In 2016, 18 year old Martez Hill was arrested for bringing a gun to ETHS. He was sentenced to two years probation and I believe an in school suspension. A school safety department employee at ETHS was fired for failing to report that another student with ties to Hill told the employee he had a gun in his backpack.

    Sure, we could use more gun control like raising the age of purchase. President Trump has already banned bump stocks. We could use a tighter and more unified gun registration program designed to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and unstable. But the gun registration system is useless if school bureaucrats, police and mental health official fail to act accordingly.

    Bottom line – what is D202 and D65 doing to keep our kids safe in school? Will a coordinated effort to reduce suspensions and expulsions keep our kids safer in school?

    1. Before they commit a crime

      We keep hearing victims say they could not get the police to protect them or arrest/detain person UNTIL they did something—like killed them. The police/courts issue orders of protection but those don’t seem to do much. Until people are given more real protection and threats are taken more serious, things won’t change. But if they did stop the person before the act, all the ACLU and liberals would scream.

    2. As a parent of children in
      As a parent of children in D202 & D65 I can tell you that both districts have done a good job informing us parents,who have a stake in our kids’ school safety, what the districts are indeed doing to at this moment.

      The list is filled with numerous points too long to add here to my reply, but I would suggest you take a simple look on the district’s websites to find out exactly what they are doing to keep ‘our’ kids as safe as can be expected.

  6. Why has District 202 (or D65
    Why has District 202 (or D65 for that matter) chosen not to have metal detectors? I believe New Trier high school and CPS have them.

  7. Support gun control

    I fully support the students. I think it is absurd that a civilian can buy a gun that is capable of shooting dozens of people in a short amount of time. Mass shooters are attracted to such weapon for obvious reasons. We should ban the sale of these types of weapons.

  8. Start at home, kids

    How about every kid who plans to protest first goes to their home and approaches their brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, cousins, etc. and has them turn in every illegal firearm from that home. Then they can protest.

  9. There should be punishment
    There should be punishment for the kids that walkout…Thats what makes it a walkout. If there are no consequences then it is just a field trip.

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