Protesters at San Dieguito Academy
At 1:00 p.m. on November 10, at least 200 kids walked out of their San Dieguito Academy third-period classes for a planned anti-Trump protest.
The night before, a junior had put up a message on Instagram that read in part, “We are protesting Donald Trump’s racism, sexism, and intolerance.... This is a PEACEFUL PROTEST.... We are simply standing united and raising our voices as the next generation of voters.... Let’s make this huge and stand up for what’s right!”
On the morning of the protest, after researching the state laws regarding truancy, the school administration notified students, teachers, and parents that should a student join the protest, it would not be a punishable absence. Several teachers walked out with the kids.
Many sheriff’s deputies were on hand to make sure the protest did not go off-campus, as Interstate 5 is just a few blocks away. According to one teacher, the deputies also were questioning adults arriving at school, possibly to stop any interference by adults or outside agitators. No adults other than teachers and staff were there during the speeches.
One of the kids who organized the protest started the speeches. She talked about being courteous to the speakers and not making any comments that are profane, racial, or related to sexual orientation.
Kids from left wing to right wing got up to talk about their post-election feelings. A group of Trump supporters joined together on a small hill behind the speakers, overlooking the crowd in front of the Performing Arts Center; they held an American flag and Trump signs. Hillary supporters called them out.
A young man, a senior, went up to speak. “Please don't divide by stereotypes. These gentlemen behind me are Americans as well. Not rapists, racist, or sexist. They are merely voicing their opinions and they are voicing the validity of this protest.” The speaker's statement was met with cheers of support.
Some kids seemed fearful that there might be radical change in their future; others had calm, compassionate feelings, such as one young lady saying, “This hatred is distracting us from the real problems in this country. If we stand divided, nothing will change. If we unite together as brothers and sisters, we can change the world.”