Loudoun High Schoolers Plan Walk Out in Response to Trump Policies

Students from several Loudoun County high schools will hold a “walk out” Friday afternoon in protest to President Donald Trump’s temporary immigration ban on refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The Broad Run High School junior Rida Ali who is organizing the protest has asked students who are immigrants, children of immigrants, or supporters of immigrants to walk out of school at 2:25 p.m. She said she wants the demonstration to be nonpolitical, but spread awareness about the importance of immigrants.

“Everybody came to the United States at some point in their family line,” Ali said. “And, if everybody walked out, that would show how empty our classrooms are, our hallways are, and how empty America is without immigrants.”

She initially planned the walk out at Briar Woods, but students have since began organizing walk outs at Broad Run, Rock Ridge, Briar Woods, Loudoun Valley, Potomac Falls and possibly other local high schools, Ali said.

She urged her fellow students to be civil, to not chant, but instead stand silently with posters. “Let’s stand united,” she added.

Since news of the walk out spread, Nereida C. Gonzalez-Sales, director of high school education, has held video conference meetings with all of the county’s 15 high school principal to “check the campus climate,” according to Public Information Officer Wayde Byard.

Gonzalez-Sales and principals agreed that there will be consequences for leaving school early based on school practices for tardies, absences and/or leaving school without permission.

School resource officers and other security specialists will be on the campuses to make sure the students and others are safe. “We’re designating areas where they can go if they wish to walk out. Our primary concern is keeping students safe,” Byard said.

He said that the students organizing the protest have met with their principals and have been upfront about their plan. “The students have been very respectful—nothing antagonistic,” he said. Their intentions may be good, but they are still leaving school early, Byard added. “Anytime there’s a disruption in the school day, it concerns us.”

This article was updated at Thursday, Feb. 9 at 5:49 p.m.

dnadler@loudounnow.com
twitter.com/danielle_nadler

22 thoughts on “Loudoun High Schoolers Plan Walk Out in Response to Trump Policies

  • 2017-02-09 at 4:29 pm
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    Good for Ms. Ali. However, she should understand that nearly all our ancestors came to this country legally. When someone says that an illegal immigrant has lived here and done nothing wrong needs to understand that the person broke the law to get here. In every country, there is a line outside every US embassy waiting for a visa. This is the legal way to do things.

    Walk out of school for a cause – – OK. But there should be a consequnce like a Saturday detention.

    • 2017-02-09 at 5:38 pm
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      That’s funny, Loudoun Independent, I didn’t see in the article where anyone said “illegal immigrants”: “The Broad Run High School junior Rida Ali who is organizing the protest has asked students who are immigrants, children of immigrants, or supporters of immigrants to walk out of school at 2:25 p.m.”

      It’s troubling that someone would see the word “immigrant” and immediately think “illegal”. Perhaps that presumption is at the root of the problem these students are attempting to address. It hasn’t been rare that someone has complained on this and other online, local newspapers that if only we didn’t have to pay to educate the hordes of “illegal immigrants” that President Obama supposedly sent flooding into our county, our taxes could be lowered.

      I do not understand why the principals haven’t taken this opportunity to suggest an alternate way that the students could exercise their right to protest this regrettable government action, a way that might have much the same impact yet would not interrupt school operations. I don’t know what that would be, but you’d think as educators they could come up with something.

      “One to the World” my tushie.

      Instead, the only thing I’ve heard school administration say is that they will punish these students. Evidently, they feel strongly enough about this issue that they’re willing to risk the punishment. That and the respectful way they appear to be doing this speaks volumes about their integrity. I feel proud that our kids are taking a stance on this. It makes our future seem a little less dismal than it would seem to be heading at the moment.

      • 2017-02-09 at 9:32 pm
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        Quite simple. It’s implied in the protest of the immigration restriction. Note that none of our immigration quotas have been reduced (nearly 1M/yr or more than any other country). And no religion has been banned or minimized. If fewer folks from one area move here, more from other areas (Central America and Asia) will take those slots. So there is really no impact on immigration overall.

        So why would the activist leader ask all immigrants to stand up and leave a la the “A Day without Mexicans” movie? Because she is implying that only the Liberals’ immigration policy is acceptable. Ali likely hasn’t read the executive order and clearly hasn’t read the 9th circuit ruling. But she holds herself out to be informed on the issues.

        But if she were really interested in Muslims and their basic human rights, I wonder why she didn’t protest the US’ indifference to the violence in Syria. I wonder why she isn’t planning on signing up for the US military after high school so she can join our brave men and women fighting to protect Muslims from other terrorist Muslims. But that would take real courage and sacrifice. That is pretty scarce in such “protests”. They are held under the freedom that those who have died for their right to free speech provide. But yet most of these activists would never even consider doing what is necessary to acquire and defend those rights to our entire nation. That is what is sad.

        • 2017-02-10 at 10:29 am
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          SGP – you know nothing about the BR student. Once again, you project your own phobias on others. What she is or is not planning on doing after school is none of your business and you declarations here implying that she is a terrible human for not living up to your standards is a terrible way for an adult to talk to a child, or any other person. This is why you are so disrepected in out country

      • 2017-02-10 at 9:31 am
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        Well put, rdj.
        In response to the above post which states “nearly all our ancestors came to this country legally”; the fact is, until a hundred years ago or so, immigration into this country was essentially unrestricted. The (very recent) ancestors responsible for our being here did not have to go through the legal process that today’s immigrants do. If they had, this country would not be what it is today.

        • 2017-02-10 at 9:52 am
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          nholloway, and until FDR and Wilson tried to implement socialist policies (“democratic socialism” or redistributionist policies if you will), it didn’t matter. Folks could come but didn’t get free goodies like healthcare, education and food stamps. But now that we give $Ks/yr to anybody who is physically present.

          Also, we had a vast country which the existing population couldn’t possibly settle. The world population was less than 1B. Today, with a world population of 7B and 100M’s who would come here overnight (probably 1-1.5B minimum), it would swamp our 330M instantly.

          The immigrants who are here, legally or illegally, don’t want us to let another 300M to enter overnight as the wages for low-skilled jobs would tank.

          You just don’t want to address the real issues. We must have immigration rules. We selectively enforce them now so we are not forced to update/modify them. Enforce them strictly, debate what the policy should be, and then create an immigration system that works.

          These kids literally have no idea of how the US immigration system works or what they are talking about. Do you?

        • 2017-02-10 at 11:57 am
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          Indeed Holloway. When my father arrived here in the 1960s – not so long ago in the context of American history – the only requirement to be “legal” was to be from a communist country and somehow get here. When my great-great grandparents on the other side of the family came here in the mid to late 1800s, it was even less stringent. Pretty much just show up. You are very correct, with the exception of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, there were almost no restrictions on immigration. So for all who are claiming that your ancestors immigrated “legally” maybe spend a few minutes thinking about when they came here and what the laws were like at the time. The sentence might be technically true, but is is meaningful.

    • 2017-02-10 at 11:45 am
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      Loudooun Independent: In addition to the previous commenters point that you seem to have added the word and concept “illegal” to the students’ concept, there is also the point that the president’s EO targets LEGAL immigrants from the 7 countries. They have visas and in the case of refugees they have undergone years of vetting and have been granted approval to come to the US. And initially it was even used against green card holders, also known as “legal residents”. I see that this topic is emotional for you, but sometimes when we feel strongly about something details, truth and logic can fall by the wayside. Suggest you spend some time thinking about what exactly you are opposed to. If it is indeed illegal immigration, this EO or the students planned demonstration has nothing to do with it. If it is Muslim immigration, just the idea of “foreigners” in general, high school students using 1st amendment rights to exhibit an opinion that differs from yours, the judiciary having the ability to oppose an order issued by a president, or just the idea that “liberals” exist or express views you don’t like, that is a different ball game and then that brings you into issues of basic American values and adherence to Constitution even when the outcome differs from what we would like to see.

  • 2017-02-09 at 8:37 pm
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    I wonder if students have read Phil Haney’s book, “See Something, Say Nothing.” If so, I doubt they would be marching. DHS counterterrorism official Haney identified serious threats and put that information in a national database for law enforcement to use. However, the Obama administration made him purge this intelligence on terrorism that included links to the Boston Marathon Bombers and the San Bernardino shooters. Immigrants need to be checked out, as whistleblower Haney exposes. Trump knows that ignorance will not keep us safe.

    Rather than marching, I suggest students take that time to read Haney’s book or watch his videos on the internet. Brilliant Philip Haney had worked as a scientist in the Middle East, learning its culture, language, religion. The truth will keep us free. Haney is a true American hero.

  • 2017-02-10 at 7:09 am
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    If you took the time to call in and voice concern over this issue you would merely get the run around. You would speak to staff members who would suggest we have gray areas in these situations. Why the staff would feel this way is more than concerning. Especially since there are no gray areas about locked doors and the need for ID to get into the school to see your CHILD. CHILDREN are under their care while attending their school. By letting them outside the school building to protest is nothing more but irresponsible and negligent on the school administration. If they want to walk out of a classroom, walk out. Since the principles were made aware they should have made it mandatory for these CHILDREN to walk to the auditorium. Then if these little babes wanted to protest they could still do so safely and still protected inside the school building. We are living in a crazy time and it requires the ability of parents and adults to make quick decisions based on reason. This is no more than an emotional cry for a early school dismissal. I just wonder how they would feel if the kids were protesting school lunches, Algebra tests or school dress codes. Once you plant the seed there is no telling how it will grow.

  • 2017-02-10 at 8:01 am
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    Maybe they should protest the lackluster standardized scores in this area. These kids are zombies of the left influenced by pink hats, and aged millionaire named George Soros and an 0-2 loser names Hillary Clinton. Too bad these kids were too young are not even born when America was attacked. Sure it may not have been from these banned countries but terrorism changes and adapts over time. One day they may live through the pain of that day and a reality check is smelling the burning Pentagon or watching live on television a plane full of people flying through a building. Get your head out of the sand kids and study history and get an education instead of walking out of school for a Friday publicity stunt. One thing is certain, liberal Loudoun Now and Loudoun Times Mirror will both be out in force snapping pictures for a nice front page spread.

    • 2017-02-10 at 10:02 am
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      I didn’t even think about the age of these children but you correct! Thank you for pointing it out.

  • 2017-02-10 at 10:02 am
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    The walk out is going to consist of Uniformed liberals who’s parents are drilling bullshit into their children’s head, and by doing drilling this bullshit into their heads, theres is gonna be one of the stupidest fucking protest i have ever seen. Nothing’s gonna change, Trump will still be our President, and you’ll still be a little uniformed fuck. I’m gonna be proud as fuck to stand at the door when kids walk out wearing my Trump Pence Shirt. Happy Friday Everyone. #MAGA

    • 2017-02-10 at 12:01 pm
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      You seem to have a problem with your spelling considering you are trying to say how UNINFORMED people are. You are a perfect representation of the deplorable, ignorant people who actually still say that they support 45.

    • 2017-02-10 at 12:07 pm
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      You seem to have a problem with your spelling, except for the filthy words. I assume you are trying to say UNINFORMED and not uniformed. You are a perfect representation of the deplorable, ignorant people who still support 45.

  • 2017-02-10 at 10:42 am
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    I support the initiative of students to exercise their 1st Amendment rights in creative and non-violent ways as this protest is undertaking. I would suggest that future such protests be planned for outside of school time, lest their message lose the support and effect they are seeking.

    • 2017-02-10 at 2:54 pm
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      These kids are simply not that interested in protesting. If they had to plan it outside of school time where it encroached into their precious video game or practice time, less than 10% would show up.

  • 2017-02-10 at 1:12 pm
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    Ms. Meg, I’d hesitate to throw out terms like “ignorant” when it’s pretty plain Mr. Walkout is a False Flag post.

    Still shouting the term “deplorable” at anyone who didn’t vote as you did? Very progressive.

  • 2017-02-10 at 1:43 pm
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    YES kids! This teacher applauds you. Stay connected, stay active. These decisions affect you directly.

  • 2017-02-10 at 5:26 pm
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    “…for not living up to your standards is a terrible way for an adult to talk to a child, or any other person.”

    CarreerSwitcher, didn’t you call another commenters children “stupid” or “dumb” because he disagreed with you week or so ago?

    Tell us more about these two sets of standards you live by….

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