NNHS students plan March 14 walkout

Maddie Krebs

Hundreds of Naperville North High School students plan to join the National School Walkout movement protesting gun violence on March 14, the one month anniversary of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

Students participating will gather in the stadium at 10 a.m. and plan to peacefully protest for 90 minutes. This location was recently changed from the original plan of the bus lot.

NNHS senior Avery Maloto, one of the lead organizers of the walkout, hopes the event will be a step in the right direction to ending a long history of shootings.

“With the Columbine shooting happening in 1999, current high schoolers have never had a school year that was not filled with this culture of fear and hatred. It will almost be 20 years since that tragedy, and the problem still exists today,” Maloto said in a written response.

The National School Walkout movement was created by students who survived the Stoneman Douglas shooting and are now advocating for stricter gun laws. The movement quickly escalated to a national scale as schools across the country have planned walkouts of their own. The walkout at NNHS will include 17 minutes of silence to honor the 17 lives lost in the Parkland, Fla. shooting, as well as student speakers addressing gun violence.

Although this event is completely student led, organizers have made school administrators aware of their plans. NNHS Principal Stephanie Posey appreciated the communication and organization of the event but is not endorsing it.

“While I can’t advocate or plan an event, I’m trying to straddle the middle. Instruction is our first priority, but [the walkout] is important, too,” Posey said.

Posey said in an announcement that students will not be penalized for peaceful gathering. However, participating in a disrespectful or insensitive manner will result in appropriate consequences.  

Other local high schools are planning similar walkouts. Metea Valley will also hold one on March 14 and Naperville Central plans to hold theirs on April 20, the 19 year anniversary of the Columbine school shooting.

Kirubel Mesfin contributed to this report


Editor’s note: Members of The North Star plan to participate in the March 14 National School Walkout.