May 23, 2024

CHICAGO — Demonstrations over the Israeli war in Gaza have now spread beyond college campuses in Chicago, with Chicago Public School students staging a sit-in Wednesday at Jones College Prep High School where they demanded a ceasefire in the ongoing conflict.

Students at Jones College Prep staged the sit-in for 30 minutes mid-afternoon before dozens boarded CTA busses to travel to local college encampments to show support. Students said they were inspired by demonstrations going on at local colleges like the University of Chicago and DePaul University.

ADDITIONAL COVERAGE: UChicago, DePaul encampment continue as nationwide protests escalate

According to one organizer who asked for WGN News to withhold his name, about 100 students participated in the sit-in.

“We see it on our phones, we see it everywhere and it only makes sense to stand up for this cause,” said one student demonstrator.

On the other side of the discussion, the demonstration raised concerns from Jewish parents and students in the community.

“We support their first amendment right,” said Sarah Van Loon, Chicago regional director the American Jewish Committee. “What we don’t support is bullying and harassment and intimidation of their peers.”

At a press conference in the Loop with local Jewish leaders and the Jones Prep school community, many parents pointed toward a student protest held back in January that they said got out of hand.

CPS officials released the following statement following the sit-in:

“While we support students constitutional right to free expression, harassment, discrimination, and biased-based harm, have no place in our school community and will not be tolerated.”

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