LOS ANGELES: Hundreds of students in several US states, including California and Maryland, walked out of classrooms on Monday to protest Donald Trump’s election as president.
Students in east Los Angeles, some of them carrying signs that read “Rise Up” and “Together We Stand” as well as American and Mexican flags, marched peacefully to a plaza in Boyle Heights, a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood.
Similar marches were organized in Portland, Oregon as well as in Silver Spring, Maryland, reflecting the emotions that are still running high one week after Trump’s presidential win.
The protest in Los Angeles took place despite calls by school officials for students not to walk out of classes and to find other ways to express their anger at the election result.
“Although it has been nearly a week since the presidential election, many students remain concerned about the outcome and want their voices to be heard,” said Michelle King, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“These are important conversations that need to take place. We want our students to know they are not alone. However, it is critical that students not allow their sentiments to derail their education or for their actions to place them in danger.”
In Maryland, local media showed hundreds of students from five high schools marching through the city of Silver Spring, some carrying signs that read “Not My President” and at times blocking traffic. Bystanders shouted words of encouragement while some motorists honked their horn in approval.
The students could be heard chanting “we reject the president-elect.”
Maryland school officials said the students all face disciplinary action unless they have an excused absence from their parents.
Monday’s protests follow similar demonstrations that have taken place across the country in the wake of Trump’s election, which will go down as the biggest upset in modern political history.
Protesters have denounced Trump’s often-inflammatory campaign rhetoric about immigrants, Muslims and women.
“We will not accept Trump’s sexism, racism, his put-down of LGBT folks,” one student told the ABC7 news channel in Los Angeles on Monday.
Evelin Miranda, 16, of Los Angeles,said she was scared for her parents who are immigrants.
“I want to tell people that we don’t want Donald Trump as our president,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “Because he’s racist and I have immigrant parents and I’m afraid that I might lose them.”
Trump initially denounced the protests against him, saying they were “incited” by the media but then reversed course on Friday and praised the demonstrators for their “passion for our great country.”