Area students plan to walk out on March 14

Students at PMSA, Forest Park Middle School planning demonstrations

March 6th, 2018 4:00 PM

File Photo

By Nona Tepper and Michael Romain

Staff Reporters

Students at Proviso Township High Schools District 209 and Forest Park Middle School are planning to join students across the country during what's being called the Enough National School Walkout, which will take place at 10 a.m. on March 14 — one month after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Jaleel Anthony, a 17-year-old junior at Proviso West in Hillside who is helping to plan that school's walkout, said that he expects at least 300 of students to join the demonstration, which is open to the public. 

Anthony said that he has also been told by students from Proviso Math and Science Academy that they are planning to walkout as well, but no one from the school could be contacted by deadline to confirm that report. Anthony said that signs promoting the walkout were being circulated inside of PMSA, according to students there. 

In a recent interview, Forest Park Police Chief Thomas Aftanas said that he was told by PMSA students about their plans, but was not informed about plans by middle school students to walkout. He said that he'll reach out to middle school officials as well. 

"We'll have a couple of additional auxiliary officers monitor how many students are out there, but we don't anticipate any problems," he said. "These kids are doing this and it's a good cause. We just want to make sure they're not going into the street. We'll do traffic control if it's even needed." 

Joseph Pisano, the principal at FPMS, has been in email communication with parents about the March 14 demonstration. Based on those conversations, it appears that students at the school may, instead of walking out, organize a rally in support of the March 14 demonstrations. Pisano said that school officials do have plans in case students do decide to walkout. 

Officials with D209 could not be reached for comment by this article's print deadline.