Niles West Students Stage Demonstration In Support Of Teachers

MORTON GROVE (WBBM) — About 250 students walked out of their eighth period classes at Niles West High School, in Morton Grove, for a brief protest.

The students were noisy, but they kept it brief and peaceful.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

As fellow students chanted, protest leaders said they have seen what has happened in Wisconsin and is threatened in other states. They said they have seen the Niles Township District 219 board lay off 10 teachers in their own school, effective at the end of the school year. 

Student Forrest Linsell concedes that the political landscape is different in Illinois. But he and other said the landscape can change quickly.

Niles West Senior Eric Krekorian said planning began for the protest a week ago. He said that while the administration could not lend its official support, everyone at the school knew about the protest.

Linsell said he was pleased with the turnout.

“We were really unsure as to how many students we were going to get,” he said.  “The fact that so much of the student body and the staff and the faculty came out and showed us support really proves what a strong community we have and how much we really care about everyone else.” 

School security made sure the students stayed off of busy Oakton Street, in front of the school, but many passing motorists honked their horns in support.  When the ninth period bell rang, the students quickly filed inside and returned to class.

  • Ed

    The usual misguided idealistic youthful exuberance of teenaged kids. But what’s the excuse for the staff and faculty? Real professionals would keep focus on the job of educating the students and maintaining decorum. They came out and supported them? Nice example. They should remember that they are employed by the parents of these children to educate them according to the curriculum.

    • Deb T

      I am a parent of one of those students and an admirer of many of those teachers, and i couldn’t be prouder of them – we stand with Wisconsin.

  • Kathleen Hyde Katsoudas

    You know, idealistic exuberance is not just limited to the young, nor is it necessarily misguided. Just because you may not agree with their agenda, they have a valid complaint and they have a right to express it. Too bad 8th period had to be interrupted to make their voice be heard…on the other hand, this show of solidarity and support and the power intrinsic to the voices of many, might be one of the greatest lessons learned in their high school careers.

  • Parent

    Were the parents called when the kids left the building without parental permission? Did they lose any state money for the time the children were not in school? Are they even reporting it, or are they still collecting the money anyway? I wouldn’t be happy to find out my kid was marching around the neighborhood when I thought he/she was in school, and nobody called to let me know about it. How do they know that some of the students didn’t go somewhere else instead?

  • Student

    we the children were in school the whole day, it was only 8th period we went out for the walk out. Many parents were notified by their children, because ultimately it was our own choice. And as a consequence for all of us that “ditched” 8th period to go for the walk out, will receive one hour detentions proudly, for most of us have received our first detention for doing something for the betterment of our school district.

  • swizzle

    Republicans will be upset that people are experessing both freedom of speech and expression. Protests are what made this country great and,what we were founded upon to believe so naturally you can expect Republicans to be against it. They hate anything and everyone who refuses to believe in their narrow minded and racist views

  • Kati Gilson

    As a parent and a teacher I would be proud to have my children “walk out” to protest a good cause. i raised them to speak up for what is right. I hope your student movement spreads to other schools in Illinois. If I still had children at OPRF I know they’d be speaking loud & clear. I wish I could get my CPS parents more concerned & involved It’s their children too.

  • Not another blind sheep

    District 219 teachers are notoriously overpaid, having graduated from Niles West I am disgusted by the actions of the students who took park in the walk out. Like any school, only a few of my teachers actually cared about their jobs, the students, and what the students got out of school, the rest were there for the paychecks and usually because they weren’t smart enough to get a degree in something other than teaching. To be honest, school at Niles West was so easy that after freshman year I never did any homework at home, I’d just do it before class because it was all so basic. I know of many teachers (I could give names if necessary) who had to drastically make their syllabus easier because not enough students were passing. We shouldn’t be paying these teachers more folks, they are the ones degrading the public education system in this country. And parents, please do not encourage this sort of behavior out of your children, the only thing that results of this is the lowering of standards across the board, the gap between high school and college is continuously growing. Open your eyes and see what is really going on.

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