Stu­dents protest Trump

About 25 West Ch­ester Hen­der­son High School stu­dents walked out Tues­day

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Pete Ban­nan pban­nan@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @pe­te­ban­nan on Twit­ter

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.

PHO­TOS BY PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

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.

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

About 25 West Ch­ester Hen­der­son stu­dents protest the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump Tues­day. Stu­dents walked out of school af­ter the sixth pe­riod ended.

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