Election or not, Trump opposition is still going strong.
Students across the city walked out of their classrooms to protest Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election on Tuesday, November 15. The walkout began at around
10:00 a.m. and congregated at Trump Tower on 57th Street. They protested outside of the building for about 40 minutes. Then students walked down Fifth Avenue to Washington Square Park, where some spoke about the election.
The walkout was organized by students at Little Red, a private school in lower Manhattan. Interest in the walkout gained momentum through a Facebook page these students created. According to Bennett Wood, a tenth grader at Little Red who helped organize the protest, about 1,500 New York City students attended.
In a phone interview with Wood, he stated, “we were all just really upset about the ideas that Trump was bringing up and normalizing in our country.”
Wood said the walkout wasn’t intended to change the election’s outcome, but rather to voice students’ beliefs. He explained, “we just wanted to show that we weren’t going to sit silent through it.”
It was pouring rain during the protest. Wood commented, “it made the message a lot more powerful because we were standing out in the freezing cold and the rain.”
Clinton English teacher Ms. Heather Nordstrom said that she recognized the importance of “students using their voice and making their needs known in society,” but she would rather students go to protests happening after classes end instead of leaving during the school day.
Camille Bordonaro, a Clinton tenth grader who attended the walkout, countered, “this was a mostly student-generated protest so it made me feel more comfortable than being with God knows who.”
Bordonaro said, “I know a lot of people are like ‘oh, it’s not going to make him not our president,’ but I just wanted to say that I don’t feel like he’s the one that should represent us.”
Usually walking out of school (which is considered a cut) would result in the removal of out-lunch privileges for one month. However, assistant principal Ms. Cheryl Goett assured students that they will not be punished for walking out on November 15 because the rules were unclear at the time.
Wood stated, “Walking out of class isn’t enough.” He proposed having discussions about how students feel about the election and fighting for organizations like Planned Parenthood, who he worries will be under attack with the Trump Administration.