Spurred by increased attention on gun safety, State Senator Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) participated as a guest panelist at the School Safety Forum on March 12 at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park.
“The forum provides a platform for students to vocalize their concerns and ideas about gun violence,” said Nybo. “It’s important to engage students in the political process and offer them opportunities to use their voices and be a part of the solution. It’s great to hear from our student leaders and answer their thoughtful legislative and law enforcement-related questions. We all share the common goal of making our schools safer, and it will take a lot of work and unity. The forum today was a great start to those efforts.”
More than 400 high school student leaders from nearly 30 high schools in the Chicagoland area were invited to participate—including York, Willowbrook, Downers Grove North, Glenbard East, Glenbard North, Glenbard West, Hinsdale Central, Lyons Township and the College Preparatory School of America. They gathered for a day of conversation and planning regarding school safety. Students were encouraged to voice their thoughts on national issues, present an action plan to improve their schools’ safety, and speak with local and state civic leaders, legislators and law enforcement.
The day kicked off with team-building activities and discussions on national, state and local issues that impact school safety. The students then brainstormed how schools, students, law enforcement and public officials can work together to make schools safer and presented their ideas to the entire group. They also wrote a list of questions to ask Nybo and the fellow guest panelists.
“Students need to continue to speak up and be proactive,” said Nybo. “Their voices have the ability to influence legislation, policy and important conversations. While the attention and news on gun safety is timely, we cannot let this issue get swept under the rug once the topic of conversation changes. It’s up to all of us to make safety a top priority.”
Nybo invites all students to write into his office about any thoughts they have on school safety. To email the senator, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his legislative website at chrisnybo.org.