BERKELEY (CBS SF) — Thousands of students walked out of several East Bay high schools Wednesday, protesting Republican Donald Trump’s presidential election victory.
Students at Berkeley High, Bishop O’Dowd, Albany High and Oakland Tech all staged walkouts. Meanwhile, several hundred students staged a noontime rally at San Jose’s Lincoln High School and El Ceritto police sent out an alert at 1 p.m. asking drivers to be careful because walkouts were underway at several Contra Costa County schools.
Bishop O’Dowd officials issued a statement saying students came to school today feeling frustrated and powerless after Tuesday night’s results.
“Many of our O’Dowd students came to school this morning feeling frustrated, confused and powerless,” the statement read. “Administrators discussed prior to school starting this morning our responsibility to provide safe spaces in classrooms for students to process their thoughts and emotions, adhering to principles of civility and mutual respect.”
“We advised teachers to allow students, regardless of viewpoint, to name their feelings, claim those feelings, and for teachers to validate our students’ perspectives and feelings.”
Meanwhile, Berkeley Unified School District spokesman Charles Burress said about 1,500 Berkeley High School students participated in their protest that began around 8:20 a.m., just as classes were getting underway at the school at 1980 Allston Way.
Students then gathered outside the school, taking turns to speak on microphone.
Burress estimated about half the school’s students were participating. Classes, however, were still being held for students wishing to attend.
“Donald Trump may be president, but we are going to make sure that this man, that he is going to prioritize the well being of the people, so please join us in this fight,” an unidentified student said during the protest, addressing the large crowd.
“He wants us to turn against each other,” another female student said to the crowd as she held back tears. “I just want to emphasize that as young people it’s our job to continue to fight like our parents fought for us.”
Burress said the students have been very focused and respectful of each other and the situation.
“The district prefers that its students are in class and participating,” Burress said. “However, we do understand their concern and we take it very seriously when they feel passionate about political issues. We’re doing everything we can to support them.”
The students then marched to the nearby University of California-Berkeley campus and were joined there by dozens of college students and 500 students from nearby Albany High.
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