Lake Zurich to join student led national school walkout


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Protesters stand during last year’s March on Washington for Gun Control. Next Wednesday, LZHS students will walk out of school to stand in solidarity with the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting.

Claire Li, Bear Facts Contributor

More than 185,000 students across the globe will participate in a national school walk out next week to protest gun violence, according to Fox News.

Organizers are encouraging students to walk out for 17 minutes, one for every victim of the Florida school shooting. LZHS student activists hope to join that number to honor the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. The goal of the event is to provide support and promote solidarity as a student body in a safe, organized, and nonpolitical manner, according to Nick Hervatin, senior and lead organizer of the walk out.

We’re just promoting a sense of solidarity as a student body to show support for other communities who have faced similar tragedies within school shootings,” Hervatin said. “It’s about having our student voices be heard and showing that we are standing together as one student body.”

Representatives of the student body are the ones who are “organizing it, coordinating it, and communicating it,” according to Robert Vossel, principal.

Students who choose to take part in the walk out are encouraged to wear orange, a national symbol of solidarity against violence in schools, and will follow an orderly process to make sure that everyone is safe so that there is minimal disruption to the education process, according to Vossel. At 9:53am on March 14, students will be able to leave their classrooms and head straight to the football field, according to Hervatin. After the event, students will have seven minutes to get back to class by 10:24am. They are also are responsible for everything they miss in class.

“As long as you are making sure you go directly to the event and from the event to class within that time frame, you won’t face any consequences,” Hervatin said.

According to Hervatin, him and several other student leaders have met with administration to discuss safety specifics.

We’ve been talking administratively with the building leadership and security about what this looks like,” Vossel said. “My goal is not to punish people for having a civil conversation, obviously if it’s a disruption, obviously if there’s a clear problem we do have procedures and discipline for students.”

During the 17 minutes of the event, 17 students volunteers will read a one minute long statement for each person who was a victim at the Florida school shooting. At the end, they will dismiss everyone. Attendees also need to make sure they bring their school IDs with them in order to get back into the building.

“My primary purpose is to make sure people are safe. If it does become a disruption, we would follow through with disciplinary decisions as we would with any other day,” Vossel said.

For those who choose not to participate, classes will continue regularly and staff will continue teaching. However, it is encouraged by organizers to participate since it is nonpolitical and stresses on student body voice, Hervatin said.

An important part about maturing and growing in high school is finding your voice, and being a part of civil discourse. So from that front, it really is an educational opportunity for students, if done well,” said Vossel. “Overall, I think of this as an opportunity for students to find a voice, for students to not necessarily make a political statement, but to be able to be heard in terms of their support for being safe in school and support for families.”