Students stage walkout

Josh Rhinehart, Staff Writer

Students at Illinois Valley Community College walked out of class in protest of current gun laws following the mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

On March 22, protest participants met in the Student Life Center to begin the walkout, organized by the College Democrats. Roughly 50 students crowded in to make their voices and opinions heard.

The protest marched through the halls and into the school courtyard where Kellsie Edgcomb, president of the College Democrats, delivered a speech from atop a large rock.

“This is a really complex issue. There’s lots of layers to why we’re all standing out here today. The biggest thing for me is school safety,” said Edgcomb.

Following Edgcomb’s speech, students held up the names of the 17 victims who lost their lives in the Parkland shooting and offered several minutes of silence as a tribute.

Protesters marched through the cafeteria and Cyber Cafe, asking bystanders to join, on their way to the main entrance.
Once outside, the protesters held up the names in silence again, allowing local media outlets to capture this moment of the protest. Then, students and faculty began to voice their concerns.

James Neissner, an IT worker at IVCC, said, “My mind keeps coming back to what could I have done…I don’t have all the answers, but if we think together maybe we can get a solution.”

Some students voiced that they feel unprepared if a school shooting were to occur at IVCC.

However, Lori Ganey, a student at IVCC, expressed hopeful views that change will come soon. She urged others to “get involved in your community,” and “go vote!”

There’s always something you can do to get your voice heard, but if you don’t say anything, you’ll never get heard,” Gainey said.

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