CJDS Participates in National Student Walkout
One of the benefits of this protest was the fact that we joined together with our friends at Sacred Heart Schools down the street on Sheridan Road. The program was built together by Rachel Pickus, CJDS Director of Middle School, with Dan Gargano, Sacred Heart Schools Director of the Middle School. With 235 students from Sacred Heart to 55 students from CJDS, together, they walked with the staff on both sides of the sidewalk representing almost 300 participants. They were encouraged by the stream of honking cars on Sheridan Road as we walked from Sacred Heart to Emanuel and finally to conclude at St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Church, CJDS Darom, in the gym.
All of the students discussed their feelings and what actions should or could be taken. We each read prayers from our traditions which underscored our shared values.
We recognized we are all Americans who want to live by the foundations of our democracy and to secure a peaceful and free society where all people can live and thrive in the freedoms of our country. No child should have to worry about a gunman coming into their classroom.
We stood together against injustice.
As I stood with Alderman Harry Osterman and Nat Wilburn, Sacred Heart Head of School, on the sidewalk of Sheridan Road, we all felt a sense of pride for our neighborhood, our schools, our students and faculty. We felt that we were indeed contributing to a better world by encouraging our students to let their voices be heard and by the thoughtful discussions that our students engaged in. Our students are growing up understanding that they have a responsibility to be an upstander. They have the power to create positive change and the knowledge to share with others to make a persuasive case against injustice.
Each school, with their own set of religious commitments, history, and traditions, joined together as Americans, as neighbors and as colleagues and friends and demonstrated our shared values. The March represented relationships built over 13 years. With some tears, we know we can take those relationships with us as we create new friendships, new relationships, and new memories.
As we continue the journey, we look forward to the next chapter, but we cherish the beginning chapters and feel fortunate to have had such wonderful experiences and made such lifelong friends.