DOWNEY – Around 100 Warren High School students walked out of class and off campus earlier today in protest of President-elect Donald Trump.
According to several of the students who participated, the peaceful protest was coordinated by students rather quickly, organized only in the last few days.
“A majority of the population [at Warren] is Latino or a Hispanic heritage. When we have even teachers on our own school telling us that they support Trump, that’s kind of telling us that they don’t support our families and everything that we’ve been through because not everyone here is a rapist or a murderer," said sophomore Donald Arrington. “These are people who are fighting for what they believe in. But Donald Trump has got into office, and he’s taking away a lot for us. He’s going to deport a lot of people’s parents, their grandparents, their families…I just can’t ever support that.
"I respect him and I wish him the best of luck in office, but for now I don’t think that he’s the right person to be put as the leader of the free world right now.”
“We did this because we want to show that even though we’re not allowed to vote, we have a voice and we are going to speak,” added junior Xarely Granados.
The student protesters covered quite a bit of ground in a relatively short protest period. Participating students left Warren, and marched down Stewart and Gray Road into South Gate. Within just over an hour, protesters had marched northward on Garfield to Imperial, where they then turned back toward Downey Avenue and back to Warren.
The group could be heard shouting “[Expletive] who? Donald Trump,” throughout much of their march. Many Downey residents came out to witness the event, with some taking pictures and others expressing support for the students.
No fights, incidents, or disturbances are known of, with the exception of quite a lot of traffic on the streets where students marched.
Upon arrival back to school, students were required to sign in and were held on the front lawn as to not disturb class, and were allowed to return to class once the next period began.
The student protesters were escorted by Downey and South Gate Police. Several Warren administrators also walked with the crowd escorting and supervising, however not participating.
Downey Unified School District issued a statement in response to the protest, saying:
“It came to our attention that some students at Warren High School organized a peaceful protest today. While we do not condone students missing instructional time, we respect their First Amendment right to peacefully protest. Our primary concern is always student safety.
"We did have a group of approximately 100 students exit Warren around 11 a.m. today. Downey Unified worked in collaboration with the Downey Police Department to ensure students were safe during this peaceful exercise of their First Amendment rights. Students eventually made their way back to the Warren High campus safely and were checked in by WHS administration to resume the remainder of their school day.
"Per District policy, all protocols related to truancy will be followed and any appropriate disciplinary action will be administered.
"We want to thank the Downey Police department for their collaboration and responsiveness in making sure that our students were safe during the course of this peaceful protest.”