Administrators for the public schools in Iowa’s capital city cautioned teachers to not stand in the way of students walking out of classes Wednesday in protest of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory.
“The majority of students at Des Moines Public Schools are students of color,” Phil Roeder, school district director of Communications & Public Affairs, said in a statement, the Des Moines Register reported. “The rhetoric of this past election has caused many concerns and divisions among them, their friends and their families. The school district will not stand in the way of our students peacefully expressing their concerns.
“Regardless of whatever their political positions might be, we hope our students will continue to be engaged and speak out on issues that matter to them, and that all of us will do more to listen to each other,” Mr. Roeder said.
According to the Register, students were allowed to walk out of class for a coordinated protest, but were requested to limit their demonstration to 15 minutes.
Vice Principal David Maxwell said the students were given about 15 minutes to protest, then told they were expected to return to class.
“We told them, ‘listen we understand,’” David Maxwell, vice principal of Valley High School said, the Register reported. “‘We support you, but we do have the expectation that you will return to class.’ Some did, some opted not to.
“We just want them to feel safe and supported,” Mr. Maxwell said. “We’re going to do our best to get through the day and tomorrow will be easier.”
While Iowa went for Mr. Trump Tuesday night by a 10-point margin, Polk County, where Des Moines is located, went for Hillary Clinton, who won 52.4 percent of the county’s votes, according to the Register’s election website.