A mass walkout at a Silver Spring, Md., high school on Monday to protest Donald Trump’s presidential election victory began when a group of students decided to take to the streets rather than remain on campus for a school-sanctioned demonstration.
“More than 100 students from Montgomery Blair High School, in Silver Spring, walked out in a planned protest at about 10 a.m.,” Washington, D.C. newsradio station WTOP reported on its website Monday. “Montgomery County school officials said Montgomery Blair High approved a plan allowing students to protest on the football field on school grounds.”
“After an hour in the stadium, students decided to leave campus with the objective of receiving more media attention,” reported Montgomery Blair’s student-run newspaper Silver Chips.
“I just feel like if we’re in the stadium no one’s gonna see our protest. We gotta get out and show everyone what we’re doing. I feel like the protest should stay peaceful,” sophomore Ariana Brenig told the student paper, who reportedly was wearing a T-shirt reading “Rapists go to the big house not the White House.”
“Spoke w/some students from Montgomery Blair - they say they’re not protesting against democracy, but in solidarity w/immigrants, Muslims etc,” tweeted Carmel Delshad, a news producer for WAMU radio, an NPR affiliate.
Students from other area high schools similarly walked out of their respective school campuses, and the various groups converged at an area shopping mall before resuming their march to Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring, a large pavilion often used for concerts in the summer months and the location of a popular skating rink in the winter.
Local police ensured the students were able to march safely, but it’s unclear what if any disciplinary action students participating in the walkouts will receive.
“Police officials said they would not be arresting or charging the students and would let the school system handle any discipline,” reported NBC Washington.
“Per @blairprincipal, students who left campus will face disciplinary consequences,” reported the official Twitter account for the student-run Blair Network Communications.
For her part, however, Montgomery Blair Principal Renay Johnson has not personally tweeted about the walkout or its possible disciplinary consequences. Similarly there is no such pronouncement from the school’s website or official Facebook page.
In reliably blue Maryland, Montgomery County is among the state’s most stalwart Democratic bastions, and at least two local politician have taken to praising the students for their walkout.
“Proud of our #MontgomeryBlair students standing up for our MoCo values: tolerance, diversity, compassion #MBHSmarch,” tweeted Montgomery County Councilman Tom Hucker, a Democrat.
“I’m on Capitol Hill but in solidarity w/ @MCPS students peacefully protesting against hate crimes in our community,” tweeted Jamie Raskin, a Democrat, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.