‘Enough is enough!’

Through walkout, students show solidarity with Parkland survivors

Joining a national movement, Lab middle and high school students engaged in a planned walk out March 2 at 10 a.m. to stand with the students from Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in their movement to end gun violence.

Teresa Xie
SIGNS OF SUPPORT. Raising both voices and posters, seniors Elena Sparrow and Alicia Haydon walk out for gun control and solidarity with victims of gun violence March 2. The day before, art teacher Sunny Neater-DuBow made available supplies and her classroom to people designing posters.

Faculty, administrators as well as some parents and even lower school students joined the congregation on the Midway Plaisance, as cameras and microphones from television, radio and other Chicago news media captured the event. The agenda included moments of silence at the beginning and end, with speeches from U-High students and one middle school student as well as a reading of the names of the 17 lives lost.

The Lab Schools’ event was March 2 because other national and local events are planned for dates during the Lab Schools’ spring break.

Student organizers who spoke at the event emphasized the need for change and the power of students’ voices.

“We hold the power to rewrite the narrative that this nation tells. You are the future of all of us. Our voices matter. Our voices unified can create impactful change that can and will save lives,” junior Isha Singh, an organizer, said. 

The goal of the walkout was to not only to stand in solidarity with the students from Douglas but to inspire Lab students to participate in the growing movement against all forms of gun violence.

“We don’t want just thoughts and prayers anymore, we want to make our communities and our schools and our neighborhoods safe,” senior Natalie Glick said. “We are creating a future for America that we want to live in: a country without mass shootings. No more lives should be lost to guns, not sitting in class and not standing on your block.”

Other speakers included eighth grader Brent Pennington, freshmen Miranda Collar, Carley McClear and Aisha Ziad and senior Talia George-Karron. Natalie and Talia are Midway editors but were not involved in the Midway’s coverage in print or online.

Chicago efforts to join the national movement also include March for our Lives Chicago, organized by Natalie Daskel, a senior at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago. The march will be in Grant Park at 11 a.m. March 24.

Natalie Daskel created a Facebook page for the Chicago march, which quickly gained supporters.

“More students started to contact me and we came together and some organizations and adults with a lot experience organizing offered their resources and it just kind of spiraled into a really big thing,” she said.

Similar to the marches transpiring across the country, Natalie Daskel said the aim of the Chicago march is for everyone, but particularly teens and students, to step up and voice their opinions.

“We just hope that throughout the country politicians from both sides of the aisle will come together to push for change on this issue,” she said.

The marches, rallies and speeches have been planned primarily through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. By utilizing social media outlets, students from Douglas have spread their message around the United States and gained support from around the world.

“We really can harness social media and make a real difference, a real tangible difference,” said Daniela Gomez, a senior at Pine Crest School in Boca Raton, Florida, just outside Parkland, in an interview with the Midway.

Teresa Xie
PUTTING A FACE TO A NAME. Middle school and high school students hold signs displaying the names, faces and interests of the 14 students and 3 adults people who died Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. At the walkout, participants wore orange ribbons to signify the official color of gun violence awareness.

Inspired by the students from Douglas and mourning the loss of her close friend Nicholas Dworet, who died in the shooting, Daniela got involved with the movement.

Daniela said, “When I got the pleasure of hearing Emma González and working with all these students and doing interviews, I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter what these people are doing now because our generation is coming of age and our generation will be of age and we’re unstoppable.”

She said that there is a difference in this generation, and that they won’t settle for politicians neglecting their constituents’ voices.

“We’ve been raised and taught to believe that we can, in fact, change the world and when given the opportunity we really have capitalized on that,” she said, “and I think that’s amazing.”

Titled “Never Again,” the aim of the students’ movement is to unite the country and promote gun control while remembering the lives of those who died in the shooting.

“They had no reason to not hope for the next day, to not wake up and think this is what I’m gonna do tomorrow,” Daniela said. “We really have to realize that this can’t just be a Florida movement. This has to be a national movement because this can’t happen again.”