On Friday, April 20, students orchestrated the second national walkout protesting school gun violence, which was also the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School.
The first walkout, which occured on March 14, was a huge success as students from all across the country poured out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. and held demonstrations for 17 minutes in honor of the 17 Parkland victims who died just a month earlier.
At Huntley, hundreds of students left their classrooms to join the demonstration at the flagpole in front of the school. With the cool breeze blowing, students packed together for 17 minutes to honor those who were killed in Parkland, Florida.
However, this time around was different as there was a significantly smaller turnout of students protesting at the school on Friday. The goal of this walkout was to leave class at 10 a.m. and not return to class for the rest of the day. But only 10 students walked out before third hour ended, and they stayed at the flagpole the whole day.
One reason for the low turnout was because no students even knew there was a walkout.
“It’s important that safety is a priority and as far as I know there is no organized plan, which can increase risks,” tweeted senior Matt Jensen, the leader for the March 14 walkout.
Jensen also stated in the tweets that he could not finalize any plans on April 20 because he would not have been in town at that time.
Another reason for the low turnout was because the school would only support students with an organized walkout plan and for the original 17 minutes. However, the second walkout was all day, which led to the students participating to accumulate unverified absences and detention hours.
While many students who had previously participated in the walkout stayed in class, the 10 students peacefully protested outside the school on the warm spring day. The 10 students would often turn their posters to classes in progress or other people walking by the circle. One poster had the slogan “protect our children, not our guns,” emphasizing one of the underlying reasons for the walkouts, promoting stricter laws against the purchase of guns.
Whatever the motive was, there was still a good amount of students across the country on April 20 who were trying to have their voice heard and promote any kind of change.
There is no known date for the next walkout, but whenever it is, students will be ready and will not take no for an answer.