April 20, 2018 -- Students at Heights High School and Heights Middle School continued their community’s long history of activism by holding peaceful protests outside their school buildings on Friday.
The demonstrations were part of the National School Walkout Day to mark the anniversary of the school shooting at Columbine High School. The purpose of the walkouts was to advocate for stricter gun control across the country.
“I'm proud that we had a walkout, and I'm especially proud that students are also writing letters and making calls to our political leaders to tell them that we want to change our gun laws,” said Georgie Jolivette, Vice President of the Heights High Student Council.
The events at Heights High and Heights Middle were student-led and completely voluntary. The CH-UH Board of Education and administration supported students in peacefully protesting today, along with the previous national walkout day on March 14. The school staffs worked with student leaders to ensure the safety of all students and orderliness of the building during the demonstrations.
At Heights Middle School, a group of students met after school on the front lawn of the Wiley campus to hold up signs and chant as fellow students walked by and cars and buses passed as well. The demonstration was led by Derek Korane, Elizabeth Rosebrock-Hayes, and Ida Shapiro.
At Heights High, hundreds of students held a rally on the football field at 10:00 a.m. Several students spoke to the crowd about the need for stricter gun control. The student speakers included Georgie Jolivette, Colin Schaller, Maple Buescher, Ryan Penson, Issa Augustin-Glave, Madalen Norton, Zelda Thayer-Hansen, Ronan Karem, and Fiona Macke.
Following the rally, the Heights High students marched en masse through the neighboring community before ending back at the football field.
Many students held up signs during the rally and the march. Students could register to vote or sign petitions at the end of the event.
A few dozen students from Beaumont School even joined the Heights High event, walking from their school to football stadium to participate in the rally and the march.
“We're really happy with how it went and the fact that so many students participated today,” said Ryan Penson, President of the Heights High Student Council.