'We Have the Right to Protest': Oakland Middle School Protests Trump Alongside Teachers - NBC Bay Area
East Bay

East Bay

The latest news from around the East Bay

'We Have the Right to Protest': Oakland Middle School Protests Trump Alongside Teachers

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    'We Have the Right to Protest': Oakland Middle School Protests Trump Alongside Teachers
    Lacy Lefkowitz
    A student at Claremont Middle School in Oakland holds up a sign that says "We have the right to protest." Nov. 10, 2016

    Millenials. College students. High school students.

    And on Thursday, about 300 middle school students in Oakland, who organized their act of civil disobedience on Instagram, walked out of class to make their voices heard in a Donald Trump presidential era.

    Teacher Lacy Lefkowitz said about 300 6th, 7th and 8th graders at Claremont Middle School walked out of second period to march around the Rockridge neighborhood. They did not break windows or wreak havoc, as has occurred in other #NotMyPresident protests around the country, including large rallies in San Francisco and Oakland.

    Instead, they walked around the block, alongside some teachers as a symbolic gesture to show that their voices can be heard. One girl carried a sign that read, "We have the right to protest."

    “They’re concerned about racism, the wall Trump wants to build and immigration,” Lefkowitz said. “It’s not OK to loot and set fires. But I think this is a great thing for them to do.”

    Many children in blue states have expressed concerns with Trump as president, worrying that their families might be ripped apart if his call to send immigrants back to Mexico and his hope to ban Muslims from entering the country will become a reality.

    Principal Jonathan Mayer sanctioned the small protest, as long at the students were back in class by third period. He also sent a robo-call to parents about the student-led walkout at 9:30 a.m. saying that “at all times we had teachers and adult supervisors” and “no one went into street.” A handful of students didn’t immediately return to class, he said, and their parents were called. Parents did not know about the walkout beforehand, and NBC Bay Area did not show their faces or interview them without permission.

    “We support students’ rights to express themselves,” Mayer said in the call. “We encourage them to take their political activism to act with friends and make a difference.”

     EDITOR'S NOTE:Lisa Fernandez's son attends Claremont Middle School.

    Get the latest from NBC Bay Area anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android