Students join national walkout to protest gun violence


Verit Reiman, Editor-in-Chief


“We’re sick of it, I’m tired of coming to school thinking someone could walk in with a gun… this shouldn’t be how people have to think every single day,” junior Anna Elkins said. Elkins was just one of 171 students who joined today’s national walkout protesting gun violence in America. This comes almost a year and a half after a student was arrested at Bloomington High School for allegedly possessing a loaded firearm, and nine days after the Nashville Covenant Shooting.

“[Lawmakers] should do everything they can; these are their kids at risk too,” Elkins said. “This is an issue that affects all of us. I’ve said this before, it could happen to us.”

Students gathered by the senior parking lot while waving signs and chanting “Save our schools!”

“The kids have power in this,” protester and sophomore Mayaih Russell said. “It shows with how many people are here. We all want to see a change and we all feel affected.”

Also in attendance at the walkout was Not in Our School president Satvika Boyina. 

“I saw [the walkout] on Instagram,” Boyina said. “[Shootings are] not once a year or once every ten years, [they’re] once a month. It’s very serious. I think it’s super important to show our school standing against gun violence and supporting all the families that have been through so much this year.”

White signs stamped with the school “U” were held high. Students sat on benches in huddles, fighting the cold wind.

“I hope that people in the area know that high schoolers have a voice and that we care about what our country is going through,” Boyina said. “We know the importance and we want change”

Despite the mass social media movement, the administration was not made aware of the walkout until mere hours before the event.

“We were not aware of [the walkout],” Assistant Principal Michael Shanley said. “We talked to a student who said they were planning on [doing a walkout] next week, but then some students asked if we could do one today to be part of the national [walkout] and we said yes.” 

In recent years, schools around the country have increased security measures as a precaution. This year so will U-High.

“We do have plans for more security cameras to be installed in the school. We have a door alarm system and that has gone pretty well. If any door is open we have a computer system that shows it is open,” Shanley said. 

Installing new cameras has been a long process, requiring much planning and coordination between ISU and the Lab School.

“Right now we only have [cameras] in the doorways. The plan is to have them throughout the school,” Shanley said. “We have been working on cameras for two years now, I think it enables us to make the school more secure, I think it’s something we’ve known we needed to do for a while, it’s just been about finding the money to do it,” 

While ISU Police were not in attendance at this week’s protest, their presence can be expected next Wednesday at the intercity walkout.

“We will have the police here,” Shanley said. “Depending on the location of where people want to protest if they want to do it on the sidewalk in front of the school we have the police come as a safety precaution for our students because we’re more worried about people driving by.”

Despite the suddenness of its organization, the walkout made an impact on Shanley.

“[The students] did an incredible job and it’s great to see them exercising their right to protest,” Shanley said. “We are always going to support whatever they need as long as we feel it is good for our school and good for our student body.” 

This poll has ended.

Are you going to participate in the intercity walkout next week?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.