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Taft Today

Walkout For Ceasefire

Courtesy of reporter.
Courtesy of reporter.

On Jan. 30, a city wide walkout by CPS students was organized in support of the ceasefire resolution being passed on Wednesday in city council. Over 15 schools participated in this walkout, Taft being one of them. 

The humanitarian catastrophe is only declining and the level of casualties unravels each day. “The community needs to try to voice their opinions. People are afraid to talk about this because it’s considered a sensitive topic. We’ve learned about so many other things in history, but why is the issue in Gaza a sensitive topic?” said Taft senior Rana Aref.

The rising number of civilian deaths in Gaza is hard to count now. Countless bodies are being found buried in rubble, and even more are suffering injuries. Amidst the death rates, more than 2.3 million have been displaced, injured, or taken hostage (USA Today).

The days leading up to the walkout, Taft students and the MENA club organized a peaceful walkout under the supervision of both Principal Mark Grishaber and Assistant Principal Ryan Glowacz, in accordance with CPS regulations. So what was the point?

In an attempt to persuade the Aldermans to vote yes for a ceasefire resolution, Taft students gathered around door 1, a little after noon, holding posters and waving Palestinian flags. Over the course of the last five months, the outbreak in Gaza has negatively intensified, and the proposal of a ceasefire would allow a pause to this war. (USA Today).

Signing off for the ceasefire would prevent unlawful attacks from all parties and allow time for medical agencies to provide water, supplies, and emergency aid into the strip. All of which would address the astonishing levels of civilians suffering and decrease the number of casualties. (USA Today).

When focusing on the takeaways from the walkout, Aref said she feels, “It’s important for even those who didn’t participate in the walkout to be informed and understand the message.” 

Gadeer Abuawad, Taft senior, addressed that the crowd faced the school building chanted “join us” repeatedly to show the lack of support for Gaza.

Majority of Taft students either watched from classrooms or left the campus to get food. It was recorded that around 500 students left the building while more than 125 stayed for the protest, and approximately 200 students scanned back into the building after the 30 minute increment, while the remaining 300 scanned two to three periods later. (Hugo Feria, front door security).

Throughout the walkout, flyers and informational links encouraging students and facility to contact the Aldermans in Taft’s district were passed around. All to spread awareness and reach the attention of those voting for this ceasefire resolution. The organized walkout lasted in total 30 minutes and students efficiently used that time to go over a listed script of major stressors. 

With the help of a megaphone, Taft students explicitly went over what students can do to help bring attention and persuade Aldermans when voting. They passed out papers with a list of Aldermans and how to contact them, suggesting what to say. 

“I think the first walkout wasn’t organized enough by anyone. It was last minute and now that we had more time given, we took the opportunity to address all that needed to be said. I think it was a successful walkout,” said Abuawad. 

CPS has yet to comment on the walkout and the matter of a ceasefire resolution is still under decision.

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About the Contributor
Sahara Samrah, Reporter