Students protest Trump
About 25 West Chester Henderson High School students walked out Tuesday
About 25 students walked out of classes at West Chester Henderson High School Tuesday afternoon in protest over the election of Donald Trump as president.
Students walked out the high school after the sixth period ended.
“We accept his election but the things he said do not represent American beliefs,” said senior Tim Zug, 18, spokesman for the students. “We are standing up for human rights and to protect the Constitution. We stand for people of color, the LGBT community, women, Muslims, and immigrants’ rights and want to speak for the voices that went unheard this election.”
Deja Davenport, a senior who voted for Hillary Clinton, asked: “When was America great? These are the students who are going to make a change.”
“We accept his election but the things he said do not represent American beliefs.” — West Chester Henderson High School senior Tim Zug
Many students also expressed concern about what a Trump presidency would do to the environment. “Our future is going to be affected the most,” said one student.
Students had hoped to have about 100 students join the protest; however, many decided against protesting when faced with possible discipline, which could jeopardize enrollment in the National Honor Society.
School officials and district staff were aware of the protest and were on hand.
West Chester Superintendent Jim Scanlon said when staff members learned of the possible protest, they warned students in announcements they could face discipline and alerted parents in a letter Tuesday morning.
“While students and staff may express First Amendment rights in a peaceful manner, nobody has the right to disrupt teaching and learning during the school day… A walkout from class is disruptive and will be considered a ‘cut’ from school. Any students participating in a walkout will receive some disciplinary action, as per our discipline code,” the district’s letter to parents read in part.
School officials also notified area police officers, who sat discreetly back in their cars watching the protest from a distance.
Scanlon said the school district is responsible to provide a safe environment, and there are other peaceful ways to protest without the disruption of a walkout. He said this is cutting class, and “once we let one group go, others could follow.” He said the district is trying to be consistent.
Zug, who supported Bernie Sanders in the primary and voted for Hillary Clinton in the general election, said the school staff initially tried to prevent students from walking out the school’s front doors. At that point, students went outside through a side exit.
Once outside, the students held up posters. Some of the signs read: “We the People are Stronger Together,” “The Future is Nasty,” and “Not My President.” Students gathered in a circle and spoke about why they were motivated to take part in the protest. Students then walked up and down the sidewalk chanting slogans including, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go.”
Zug said the movement developed through group chats the students have held in the last week. He said teachers and students have been discussing the election in the idea of a protest.
“We’ve discussed it in classes, people in classes have been for it and against it,” he said.
“Our school has done a lot to support us, but the district has used intimidation,” said senior Sana Makke. “They are more concerned about punishing us.”
“We made sure every student checked with teachers beforehand so they won’t miss any assignments,” Zug said.
After the short protest, students talked with a reporter while Scanlon asked them to finish up, sign back into the building and get back to class, which all the students appeared to do.
A group of politically active West Chester Henderson High School students had hoped to have about 100 of their classmates join the protest; however, many decided against protesting when faced with possible disciplinary action.
West Chester Henderson students protest the election of Donald Trump on campus Tuesday.
West Chester Henderson students who took part in a Donald Trump protest Tuesday faced disciplinary action, according to school officials.
West Chester Area School District Superintendent Jim Scanlon watches the students protest.
About 25 West Chester Henderson students protest the election of Donald Trump Tuesday. Students walked out of school after the sixth period ended.