More than 1,000 Chicago-area students get detention for walking out of school to protest gun violence
Roughly 1,100 students at two Chicago-area high schools will serve detention for participating in a school walkout to protest gun violence.
A spokeswoman for Community High School District 99 told the Chicago Tribune that 1,100 students at Downers Grove North and South high schools will serve one hour of detention after participating in the walkout and refusing alternative means of protest suggested by school officials.
“Students have shared they consider the detention a ‘badge of honor’ and a symbol they truly are protesting and standing up for their rights at a personal cost,” spokeswoman Jill Browning told the Tribune.
Browning added that the district met with students beforehand and suggested alternative in-school protests “that would not disturb the educational environment,” but students rejected the ideas.
About 3,900 students remained in class at the two schools on Wednesday amid national protests from students against gun violence and in support of gun control measures, according to Browning.
Gun control and school safety have re-entered the national conversation after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killed 17 people in February. Survivors of the shooting launched a national campaign to combat gun violence in response.
District 99 Superintendent Hank Thiele told parents in a letter this week that “accepting the consequences for their actions” would allow the students who chose to protest “to receive the full civics lesson of what it means to participate in a protest.”
The White House unveiled a plan to “harden” the nation’s schools on Sunday in response to the shooting, including calling on Congress to pass legislation strengthening the nation’s background checks system and providing grants to school districts that find ways to issue concealed-carry permits to school officials.
This article was updated at 6:28 p.m.