Schools, colleges and universities all across the United States are making their message heard. Many institutions are staging a walk out as part of a national movement to call for a change in school safety.
The movement has become so popular that a hash tag has been created on social media, #NationalWalkoutDay.
Both Illinois College and MacMurray College held it’s own respective walk outs.
Bree Tipsword is a MacMurray student and helped organize today’s walk out. She considers herself an advocate for school safety. She says when the idea of walking out was brought up, her organization had nothing but support from the MacMurray community.
“Everybody was very supportive, they were all excited for us. Finally taking a stand. It’s a small college, so everyone is very supportive here. They all know your name and they were all on board, there will always be backlash, no matter what you do. Not everyone will support you but at the end of the day, they will see the effort that you are making and eventually they may see eye to eye with you.” said Tipsword.
Tipsword talks about the biggest goal of the walk out.
“The biggest message that school safety should be a number one priority in our communities in the United States and internationally. No student or parent should ever feel in danger when they go to school, should be a place of education, a place where you are being watched and supervised and be protected where you are as you try to succeed in future life goals.” said Tipsword.
Another MacMurray student, Aury Bradley, also helped organized the event. About 40 students and staff were on hand to make stand against gun violence. As Bradley read off the names of the students who died in the Parkland Massacre, many people in cars would honk their horns in support.
Bradley tells us what was going through her head.
“Reading the names, my first thought was there are too many names. There were only 17 names, some people don’t think that’s too bad but when you are talking about a life and a lot of them were 14 or 15 years old. I look back on how I was 14 or 15 and many things I’ve done since then,that they won’t experience. Just reading the names, there are too many. One is too many just because there doesn’t need to be violence at schools. It should be your safe place where you feel like you can do and anything is possible.” said Bradley.
WLDS/WEAI had a chance to speak with MacMurray Provost Dr. Beverly Rodgers and other staff. They all say that this walk out was a great idea and were very proud of the student body. Dr. Rodgers says it’s time for everyone to take action and make a change.
Staff members called for students to have discussions in the various classrooms and come up with solutions to help solve the gun violence problem in schools. To listen to the full interviews from Bradley and Tipsword, click on the links below.
Bree Tipsword Interview:
Arury Bradley Interview: