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.