It was a similar scene at Glenview Middle School in East Moline, as students take part in the nationwide walkout; however, that was only part of the day.
It wasn’t just a chance to walkout of school at Glenview in East Moline.
With a short day on the school calendar, staff and students worked to dig deeper into the issue of school safety.
An eighth-grade student said they got the idea to do more after writing letters to those in the Florida shooting.”
Glenview eighth-grade student Rylee Verstraete said, “We were writing to kids in Florida about how if they needed to talk about if like they were nervous or scared, they could always write back to us.”
It was Glenview students taking to the mic to say what might make them nervous or scared.
While it might look a regular assembly, these students are seated to listen for the answers to their questions.
The eighth-grade class gathered before school officials, a school resource officer, mental health professional and pastor.
Verstraete said,“It made our panelists realize what needs to be done, and I don’t think most of them realized that our kids would ask that.”
They touched on the political, getting answers to why school doors don’t lock on the inside because of fire codes and where and who to turn to for help.
Eighth-grade students Rylee Verstraete and Leslie Moreno led the effort, called 17 Ways to Care, they say to begin change.
Glenview eighth-grade student Leslie Moreno said, “There’s a lot of things that happen in the world, you know that sometime you can’t keep from happening, but you can do something about it.”
For Glenview counselor Gaye Dunn, it’s a way for them to continue the conversations they often have in their social groups.
Glenview counselor Gaye Dunn said, “Put a face to the people who make decisions about their lives and then ask them those things. They really are taking what they do on a day to day basis with their friends, maybe their family too.”
The essential lesson Dunn said this is teaching is the power of their voice.
“When they find their voice that’s pretty powerful stuff, and so it’s very moving to me to see them step up, as frightened as they might be, they weren’t frightened about what they believe,” said Dunn.
Dunn said the school has been working to involve as many of their 1,200 students in this effort.
They’ve been raising money to purchase bracelets for each of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and staff members.