Analy High School students flexed their freedom of speech on Monday, Nov. 14 leaving class early and protesting President-elect Donald Trump along with many other schools throughout the county. Standing with a sign that read, “Hate doesn’t make America great,” junior Zoe Tiller led the group of about 60 students in chanting, “Love trumps hate,” and other catchy protest slogans.
“This walkout symbolizes that, not only do we not want Donald Trump as our president, but that we have seen a lot of hatred, violence and racism all over the country and we are not ok with it,” Tiller said.
Tiller said, with recent micro-aggressions at Casa Grande High School and teenagers holding a Confederate Flag at the Veteran Day ceremony in Petaluma, she is concerned with the “anti-messaging” Trump’s campaign has spread to the youth.
“His message was very anti-Muslim, anti-LGBTQ and very anti-women in general,” she said. “This is a way for us to say, we don’t tolerate hate. We’re one of the most advanced countries in the world, this isn’t who we are.”
Analy’s principal Raul Guerrero said that although the students protesting through their last class of the day will be marked absent, he was happy to support their First Amendment rights.
“I think it’s always good when student’s express themselves in a healthy way,” Guerrero said. “Mostly, we want them to be peaceful and so far they are.”
Not everyone present in the walkout was against Trump. Four boys huddled together on the outskirts of the protest, one held binder paper with the statement written, ‘you are crybabies’ in black marker and as protestors would chant, one or two of the boys would yell and laugh anti-protest statements.
Alyssa Arnovick, also a junior at Analy, said she is infuriated that Trump is now president-elect and she is trying not to feel overwhelmed with anger and frustration.
“This is a man who got away with sexual assault,” she said. “It’s not ok and he’s making my generation of boys think it’s ok to violate women.”
Trump is not the role model she wants supporting her country, Arnovick said, let alone the role model for her generation. Arnovick said she is proud that her school is taking a stand and that everything Trump stands for is the opposite of everything she was raised to believe is right.
“We’re the ones that are going to have to deal with the decisions he makes. This election is going to impact my college life, this is going to affect my family members who are gay and affect me as a young woman,” Arnovick said. “ And this is my generation taking a stand.”