— Democracy Spring (@DemSpring) November 15, 2016
Hundreds of students walked out of Wilson High School, and marched down Pennsylvania Avenue towards Donald Trump’s new DC hotel.
Sputnik Radio's By Any Means Necessary with Eugene Puryear was live at the scene, where the march is leaving Trump International to head to the US Capitol.
— Ileana Diaz (@IleanaMDiaz) November 15, 2016
Students from other city schools were expected to join as well.
— Dj Squeech (@DjSqueech) November 15, 2016
As they marched, the students chanted “f*ck Trump,” and “not my president.”
— Mikea Turner (@MikeaTurnerTV) November 15, 2016
“We will then stand before the building and hold hands,” an announcement of the walkout by the student group Wilson Human Rights Club stated. “This is a peaceful and positive demonstration meant to send one message to our future president: He can’t divide us.”
A teacher who was present at the protest told WUSA9 that she supported the students right to protest, and stated that it outweighs the parent’s right to know that their children are safe in a classroom. She also said that she disagrees with the school district’s decision that leaving class to protest is not an excused absence.
The teacher, as well as two others, said that they were on their lunch break and carried signs saying “proud teacher.” She also told the reporter on the live feed that her students get an “A+ for doing this."
— Mike Carter-Conneen (@ABC7Mike) November 15, 2016
Whether or not teachers should express their political views to impressionable young students has been a topic of extreme debate throughout this presidential election.
Wilson High School administration told Sputnik that DCPS instructions were that teachers were to remain in their classrooms and were barred from giving lead or encouragement to the protesters after they left the safety of the school building. It was also not permitted for teachers to offer extra credit or any sort of good grade in exchange for participation, as they were supposed to be encouraging students to stay.
They explained that the school’s position is that while it is good for students to engage in free speech and be politically active, other options were offered for them to make their opinions heard without leaving.
They reiterated multiple times that school staff was not permitted to leave the building or get involved other than escorting students who insisted upon leaving to the metro during lunch hour.
— Joe Heim (@JoeHeim) November 15, 2016
Yesterday, students in nearby Silver Spring, Maryland, also walked out in protest of the president-elect, and the Montgomery County School District asserted that students who skipped school without a note from a parent would be subject to disciplinary action.