Students across Beaverton School District stage walkouts
Students from at least four schools in the Beaverton School District staged walkouts on Monday to voice their opposition to President-elect Donald Trump.
The walkouts were largely inspired by a social media campaign that was circulated widely among students in multiple states.
Some walked out because they felt there was no other way to be heard. Others walked out in solidarity with people in their lives undocumented parents, gay and lesbian friends, Muslim loved ones who they fear may suffer under the new administration.
At Beaverton High School, around 75 students joined a walkout that began at 10 a.m. Monday in the Student Center and made rounds through school hallways and around the campus perimeter before fizzling out when the lunch bell rang.
Students chanted phrases such as "Silence is violence," hoping to get their voices heard although most of them weren't old enough to vote.
"Everyone looks at people our age and thinks we have no idea what's going on, when actually we're more aware than what people give us credit for," said Ruth Ataliah Teston, a member of the Multicultural Student Union. "We are being silenced about something that affects all of our futures."
After the walkout, Beaverton Principal Anne Erwin made an announcement over the intercom, reminding students who were protesting to do so respectfully, without disrupting learning for others. Some students who did not participate in the walkout said they could hear loud chanting in the hallways during their classes.
At the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy, well over 100 students walked out at 1:30 p.m. Monday and made several laps around campus, chanting "Donald Trump, go away, racist, sexist, anti-gay," and "Not my president."
Before students began walking out, ACMA principal Michael Johnson warned students that they needed to stay on campus. Many were middle schoolers at the 6-12 arts school.
Among the student protesters, many expressed concern for their LGBTQ peers, fearing that a national right to same-sex marriage could be reversed under a Trump-appointed Supreme Court.
When Johnson heard that students were organizing a peaceful protest, he and other members of the administration decided that students wanting to express their political views should be allowed to do so, under staff supervision.
"Of course, our number one concern is for the safety of our students," said Johnson.
Students at Westview High School and the International School of Beaverton also reported seeing peers leave class for loosely organized walkouts.
Check back for more in-depth coverage on these walkouts and other issues.