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Crystal Lake South seniors taking stand for school safety at national Washington march

Crystal Lake South High School seniors Maddie Spoden (left), 18, and Haley Sharp, 17, are heading to Washington, D.C., on March 24 to participate in a march on Washington to advocate for safer schools.
Crystal Lake South High School seniors Maddie Spoden (left), 18, and Haley Sharp, 17, are heading to Washington, D.C., on March 24 to participate in a march on Washington to advocate for safer schools.

CRYSTAL LAKE – Two seniors from Crystal Lake South High School are heading to Washington, D.C., later this month to take a stand against feeling unsafe in their own school.

Survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, are planning a national march on Washington to demand political action on gun control
March 24.

Maddie Spoden, 18, and Haley Sharp, 17, said they are excited to see a new generation come together for the same purpose.

“After all the shootings, it is hard to feel as safe as possible with all the thoughts running through your head of what ifs, but I feel we have a more protected school than others because we have a school resource officer and a security guard,” Sharp said.

Sharp said that lately, her friends talk about ways people could get into the school or pose as a student with a backpack on, instead of worrying about typical high school problems.

Spoden hopes to become a teacher someday, and she said she knows this issue is important not only while she’s in high school, but for the rest of her life.

“I want to teach little kids, and it’s scary because their lives will be in my hands,” Spoden said. “If nothing is changed, how am I supposed to feel safe myself, or with 20 to 30 kids?”

The pair will leave March 22 and return home March 25 after doing some sightseeing during what will be their first trip to D.C.

Spoden’s father, Steve Spoden, said he doesn’t have any political affiliations, but he was excited when his daughter came to him with the idea.

“Whenever I see kids trying to do something outside themselves, I support that,” Steve Spoden said. “If she wanted to go to [a National Rifle Association] rally, I would take her to that, too.”

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