Students were set to walk out of classes at some Chicago-area high schools Wednesday as part of a nationwide event supporting the Second Amendment amid ongoing debates over gun reform in wake of the Parkland school massacre.
Nearly a dozen schools in Illinois were expected to participate in the so-called “Stand for the 2nd Walkout,” according to organizers.
At 10 a.m., the time of a scheduled walkout, more than two dozen students at Libertyville High School were seen gathering along the school’s football field, one holding an American flag.
Community High School District 128, which includes Libertyville High School, said in a statement “today was another example that our nation’s youth want schools to be safe and they wish to express their varied perspectives, ideas, and opinions on how to achieve this goal.”
“Like the walkout in March, Libertyville High School did not actively endorse or oppose any student’s particular point of view, and it was not a school-sponsored activity,” the statement read.
Other walkouts were expected at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Madison Jr. High in Naperville, Timothy Christian schools in Elmhurst and St. Charles North High School at 3 p.m.
The walkout, which was set to last 16 minutes, is aimed at bringing attention “to those of us who want to protect our natural rights that are enshrined in the constitution,” organizers said.
The event was founded by Will Riley, a high school senior from Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Riley said grieving teens have been exploited by gun-control interests and that a platform is needed for students on the other side of the debate.
"We just want to have the same platform that students on the other side were given," Riley said. "Really what I want to do is just to educate people about their constitutional rights that they may not know about."
A group called Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund that backs conservative political ideals and candidates actively promoted the walkout by distributing a how-to guide for the rallies with talking points and suggested messages for protest signs.
On March 14, tens of thousands of students across the country left class for at least 17 minutes — one minute for each of those fatally shot in the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.