Seattle students ponder Inauguration Day walkout | KUOW News and Information

Seattle students ponder Inauguration Day walkout

Jan 19, 2017

Some Seattle student groups — from colleges to middle schools — are organizing walkouts and protests of Donald Trump’s presidency on Inauguration Day.  

Seattle Public Schools officials say, as with past protests, students who take part may be marked “unexcused.” Now Seattle high school and middle school students upset about the election results are weighing that decision.

Roosevelt High School student Jasmine Smith is waiting outside school after dismissal. She said she’s planning to take part in the student walkout Friday afternoon.  

“I was pretty upset when the election happened,” Smith said.  “And I think people, and especially students, I think that they should go out there and say what they have to say, I think it’s kind of empowering.”

Smith said she’s confident she can make up the schoolwork, and she thinks the issues at stake justify missing one afternoon of class.

Junior Antonio Zacco said his plans are a bit up in the air, but he’s leaning toward attending the Seattle Women’s March on Saturday and staying in school on Friday.  

“For the most part I agree with the cause,” Zacco said, “but I’m sort of hesitant because I’m worried that I’ll miss certain bits of schoolwork that I won’t be able to make up later.”

Junior Kylie Knowles agreed that missing school is stressful. She said she was upset about the election but found the post-election student protests last November overly vague.  

“No one really knew what they were walking out for,” she said. “I want to make sure the cause is something I align myself with. Instead of going out and then there being violence, people saying things I don’t agree with, and then being stuck in a situation I don’t feel comfortable in.”

She said she wants to explore other ways to hold government accountable and join efforts that she knows reflect issues she cares about. “I’m just hoping that Trump’s going to rise to the occasion and surprise us,” she said. “I don’t want to go out there and yell profanity against Trump because I don’t think that’s a progressive conversation.”

“But I can see why a lot of people are upset and I respect anyone who decides to go out. At some point you have to stand up for your rights and say, this is bigger than us and our school,” she said.