RPS students walk out, parents and state leader show up to suppo - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

RPS students walk out, parents and state leader show up to support


"When is enough, enough?" Simon Davis, a junior at East High School yelled during his school's walkout. 

That's the message East High students sent for 17 minutes. Each minute to honor the students who lost their lives in the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Now, they say they want to see change. 

"It seems like we're always waiting for terrible things to happen before we take action," Damion Davis, a parent of an East High School junior.  

Davis was one of several parents who showed up to support the hundreds of students who stormed their school's front lawn to beg law lawmakers to enact stricter gun laws. 

"People taking action, doing activism, making a statement using their voices to be heard is important and I think it's great that these kids are doing that at such a young age," Davis says  

But it wasn't just students and parents at this walkout, but also a state leader, Representative Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, who says this cause hit close to home. She says she was on Northern Illinois University's campus 10 years ago when a gunman shot and killed 5 and injured 17 others. 

"I was concerned about whether or not I would make it back to Rockford to pick up my four year old son from Pre-K at the time," she says.  

Now she and other parents say they're proud to see young students throughout the Rockford area stand up and make their voices heard.   

"I know you hear us, Springfield," a student yelled during East High School's walkout. "I know you hear us, Washington. Our voices are here. We will be heard and we will push for change."

East High School's principal says students at that school helped organize the walk out and planned to use it as a bigger project in civic engagement. 

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