Hundreds of Germantown Teens Walk Out of School to Protest Election
As has been happening all around Montgomery County, on Wednesday hundreds of high school students from the Germantown area walked out of school during their lunch period in hopes of sending a message of love and inclusion. The students also took to the streets to express their displeasure with the election of Donald Trump as president last week.
The walkout had been brewing in area schools. On Monday about 30 to 40 students at Northwest High School walked out of school during lunch to the Northwest football field and chanted anti-Trump slogans.
Wednesday’s protest started shortly after 11:30 am, just at lunch periods were beginning, students at Seneca Valley High School walked out the gymnasium doors holding signs and chanting, “Not my President.”
The group of roughly 60 students walked off campus and turned left walking down the sidewalk on Wisteria Drive. The Seneca Valley School Resource Officer from the MCPD walked along with them making sure they stayed on the sidewalk.
A few minutes later and two miles south on Great Seneca Highway, a large group of 50-60 students began walking out of their lunch period at Northwest High School.
As the group from Seneca Valley approached the intersection of Wisteria Drive and Great Seneca Highway, they were met with a number of officers from MCPD 5th District who did not stop them, but stopped traffic at the intersection to ensure that all the student protesters safely crossed the street as they began the two-mile march down Great Seneca Highway to Northwest.
Some students held signs reading, “Love Love Love” and “Hate is Not a Maryland Value” they chanted “No Justice, No Peace” and “Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Donald Trump has Got to Go!!” The peaceful protest proceeded down Great Seneca Highway, and police officers assured their safe passage through intersections, including Clopper Road. The students remained on the sidewalk and were respectful of the police.
“I am walking because Trump is a racist,” said Seneca Valley student Shymack Frazier. “He talks about grabbing females by their private parts, and I have a little sister and I don’t want her growing up in his world.”
The two groups of students joined at the intersection of Great Seneca Highway and Richter Farm Road, and after some indecision as to where to go from there, it was decided that the protest would continue south down Great Seneca Highway. The highway was shut down by MCPD at Mateny Road as the protest crossed from the Northwest sidewalk to the McDonalds side of the road because the sidewalk ended.
As the group began to walk down the hill on Great Seneca Highway, about two-thirds of the Seneca Valley students who had already walked two-and-half miles began to turn back and peel off from the main group. However, further down the road, the group merged with a third group of 10 or so students from Quince Orchard High School.
At times the protest shut down traffic on Great Seneca Highway and its cross streets as students reached intersections, but it was MCPD that was stopping traffic not the students. There was no time when it looked like protesters had even attempted to be intentionally disruptive to traffic as part of the demonstration. They were peaceful and well behaved.
“We are protesting for people who are being oppressed and discriminated against, especially since the election,” said Parissa Hai, a junior at Northwest. She said that women and women’s rights were being targeted by Trump supporters and Donald Trump himself. “He is trying to make it harder for [women] to get abortions. But it is their body; it should be their choice.”