LHS students walkout for “Stand for the Second”

Junior Kylee Kraus passed out stickers to students that read “Stand for the 2nd Walkout.”

A month and a half after students walked out of school in honor of those who died in February’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, with some hoping to spark change in regards to gun control legislation, students in more than 40 states, including some at Libertyville High School, walked out of school on Wednesday, May 2, in support of the 2nd Amendment.  

The walkout, called “Stand for the Second,” was originally created by 18-year-old Will Reilly from New Mexico, according to USA Today.

At LHS, about 40 students participated in the walkout; they left their 2nd period classes at 10 a.m. and walked to the football field, the same location as March’s walkout, for 16 minutes.  Sophomore Christian Voelker and juniors Kylee Kraus and Ben Kanches, who is a staff member for Drops of Ink, organized the event.

The walkout was planned, coordinated, and promoted in just over 24 hours.

During the 16 minutes, students were handed stickers with the “Stand for the Second” logo; Voelker recited a speech about the Second Amendment and the failure of certain gun control policies; and the crowd said the Pledge of Allegiance before returning to their 3rd period classes.

Kanches, Kraus and Voelker coordinated the event with the school administration, as well as met with security to make sure the event was safe.

In an email sent to parents by Principal Dr. Thomas Koulentes on Tuesday, May 1, the walkout was to follow the same procedures as the one in March.

“Student participation in the walkout is completely voluntary and at each individual student’s discretion. LHS teachers will not incentivize nor punish student participation/non-participation in the walkout,” explained Dr. Koulentes in the email.  

Voelker was asked to help guide the event by Kraus the day before it took place and said the turnout of the event was better than he expected.

“I’ll be honest, we got more people than I thought and the people we did get seemed to be very passionate, so that made me happy,” he said over text message.

Kraus was also only expecting 10-15 students to show.

“[One] reason for the smaller turnout [could have been] because of the larger turnout of the [walkout on] March 14. If these walkouts are considered for opposite causes…it would very weird if both walkouts produced large responses due to the limited number of students enrolled at Libertyville,”Kraus said over email. However, she wanted to state that this walkout was not a counter-attack to the previous walkout held.

Sophomore Matthew Murbach, who participated in the walkout, feels that his Second Amendment rights are being attacked and that he had to stand up for them.

“I would hope that LHS and schools around the country revoke their gun-free zone policies,” Murbach conveyed over email.  

Junior Madison Hartwig participated in the event because she cares about student safety and thinks that the ability to have guns in schools can assist with that.

“A school where we are learning should be a place where everyone can feel safe,” Hartwig expressed.

Sophomore George Harvey wasn’t happy with the walkout on March 14 and wanted the opportunity to share his own views.

“[I want] more protection for students, whether it be security checks or just logical steps. They might be small steps, but they are important,” he said.

Freshmen Colin Watson walked out due to his love of the Second Amendment.

“[I] just want people to see the other side [of not wanting to ban guns],” said Watson.

Voelker also thought it was important to have a conversation with students about the topic.

“I hope there will be more dialogue between students and hopefully people will actually do research on guns, gun laws and crime rather than just asserting an opinion,” Voelker said over text message.


Editor’s Note: This story has been updated since its original publication on Tuesday, May 2 to include more information and quotes.