CHICAGO (CBS) — Students in West Englewood marched for peace Friday morning, moved by gun violence that has claimed the lives of their friends, and shaken their neighborhood.
The students were joined by parents and teachers, all trying to get guns off the streets.
It was the second year they marched together, but this year’s event was even more personal, after five of their fellow classmates were shot this school year, one of them fatally, according to Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th).
Students chanted “We want to grow up! Stop the shootings! We want to grow up!” as they marched for about 30 minutes around their neighborhood.
Many of them made signs that said “Black Lives Matter,” and “Stop the Violence.”
The students have been around several violent incidents in the past year. Most recently, in February, 12-year-old classmate Kanari Gentry Bowers was shot in the head on the school’s playground. She died four days later.
Her grandmother bravely spoke during a rally minutes before the march.
“We have to stick together, and this thing about [no] snitching, that’s got to stop,” she said. “Our kids our strong, they’re intelligent, they’re beautiful. They have the right to walk these streets anytime they be on the school playground without the fear of being hurt by someone doing something senseless and being violent,” Patricia Donald-Bowers said.
Lopez’s office said another similar rally is planned in West Englewood this summer.