Speak out against violence 

Simeon students lend their voices in effort for tougher gun laws.

March 23, 2009

Simeon Career Academy High School students are speaking out against violence in the community that claimed the life of one of their classmates on March 13.


Last week, teammates, friends and colleagues of Gregory Robinson went to Springfield where they rallied in support of a bill to regulate private handgun sales and establish universal background checks for gun purchasers.


“We asked for the same thing we asked for last year,” a student leader named Ronnie said during the March 19 rally against gun violence at Simeon, 8147 S. Vincennes. “We told them that we wanted a future and not a funeral.”


The student-led event drew support from area clergy and elected officials in paying tribute to young victims of violence. Top Chicago Public School officials were also present to address the issue and lend their support.


Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman said, “You will not hear us speaking about any student as a number, he said. “It is not right and simply is disrespectful. We are going to refer to our students by their names.”


Huberman also offered the students this advice: “The best thing to do is support each other,” he said. “Ask for help. Talk about it. Write about it. And channel that anger in a productive way that’s healthy.”


Students plan to accept Huberman’s advice by banding together to stop the violence. “I’m putting myself in this fight,” Ronnie said in front of more than a thousand Simeon students. “And we need all CPS students out there protesting because this is our lives. We need to have 29 days of peace. Can we do that?”