Winnebago High School takes alternative approach to Wednesday wa - – Rockford’s News Leader

Winnebago High School takes alternative approach to Wednesday walkouts


For students at Winnebago High School, walking out won't be an option on March 14. 

"We decided that this was a more proactive avenue of change," said Winnebago High School senior Alexandra Luchini.

Instead, these students will sit down to discuss their concerns about school safety and gun control in a school wide forum. 

"To hear our voices and what we have to say on the issue and how we're feeling," said Luchini.

Luchini is leading the charge to organize Wednesday's forum. She says she was first inspired to action after listening to the anxieties of her fellow classmates following the shooting in Parkland, Florida. 

"Just hearing that from my fellow students, and feeling that in myself, I initially wanted to participate in the walk out," said Luchini.

But after speaking to Winnebago High School Principal Ron Gruber, the two decided to go one step further than a walkout and invite law makers and law enforcement to join the conversation.

"I like that, that they're educating themselves," said Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana. "They're going to be the next leaders, and they're making themselves more aware about what they can do." 

Caruana is one of the leaders attending Winnebago's forum, along with State's Attorney Joe Bruscato and Republican Representative John Cabello.

"We're just hopeful that our forum gives students an opportunity to be heard and draw attention to this issue that's important and that students choose to be a part of a productive solution, rather than leaving the building for the sake of leaving the building," said Gruber. 

And with students taking the initiative, school administrators say they hope to see some meaningful discussion take place .

"As a part of the youth community, that we have a voice, we have concerns and we really want to do something," said Luchini.

A creative way of tackling a tough topic which is echoing throughout classrooms across the country.

With the school safety forum, Winnebago High School says students will not be allowed to participate in a walkout. 
If students do try and leave the building, administrators say they will face consequences

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