Corbin, 14, holds a “Love Trumps Hate” sign in Westlake Park on Inauguration Day. Image captured by Casey Jaywork.

Middle School Students Explain Why They Protested Against Trump Today

Today’s inauguration of Donald Trump as President has seen massive protests across the country. Here in Seattle, public school students are joining the throngs of anti-Trump marchers to voice their opposition.

Since those students are technically playing hooky, they’ll be marked as absent, according to a letter Seattle Public Schools sent to students’ families on January 13:

“The district supports students’ rights to express their views in a peaceful manner. However, when civic engagement includes missing class, there are appropriate and standardized consequences. Students should understand that if they choose to participate in the January 20 walkout, they will receive an unexcused absence per board policy.”

After civil rights lawyer and parent Neil Fox forwarded the letter, Seattle councilmember Kshama Sawant called on the district to support student civics on this dark, dark day. From her blog:

“SPS needs to recognize these protests as legitimate actions in defense of the rights of students, their families, and fellow community members who are directly threatened by President-Elect Trump’s racist, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, misogynistic, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-worker agenda. Furthermore, Seattle is a sanctuary city, and we have to uphold the right of everyone to peaceful protest and assembly.”

Spoiler: lots of students walked out and showed up to protest. This afternoon we spoke with six protesters under the age of 18, asking why they’d come out and what their complaints were. Here are the answers, in their own words:

Mew, sophomore at Summit Sierra Public High School

Miranda, 17, Chief Sealth International High School

Corbin, 14, Lichton Springs K-8

Pearl, 13, Pathfinder K-8

Naom, 13, Brier Terrace Middle School

Wyatt, 15, Nova High School

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