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Students walk out to protest for Hispanic rights

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Students  walked out of school at noon to protest Trump's immigration laws and the racism many of them encounter on campus every day. They held up posters, chanted and made their way down Park Row, cheering when drivers honked in solidarity.

Students walked out of school at noon to protest Trump's immigration laws and the racism many of them encounter on campus every day. They held up posters, chanted and made their way down Park Row, cheering when drivers honked in solidarity.

Emma Ruby

Emma Ruby

Students walked out of school at noon to protest Trump's immigration laws and the racism many of them encounter on campus every day. They held up posters, chanted and made their way down Park Row, cheering when drivers honked in solidarity.

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Over a hundred students walked out of the school today in solidarity in response to Trump’s controversial immigration laws and claims of racism amongst the student body. After a display of Latino pride during today’s’ pep rally, many students uninvolved with the protest responded with tweets and snapchats saying things like “Build that FING wall,” and “Trump Trump Trump.” Junior, Olivia Salazar, who participated in the walkout, said the response to the pep rally only “added fuel to the [protest’s] fire.”

“There were lots of people today during the pep rally who were rude,” Haley White, junior, said. “I saw that someone was angry that Mexicans were highlighted during black history month. We wanted to march to show that we’re all the same and we have our own rights too.”

The protesters walked through the hallways at noon and were immediately ushered out of the school by administration and security. Once outside, students congregated across the street from the school and proceeded to chant “F*** Donald Trump,” and “Si se puede.” Officer Jason Stevens blocked the protesters from entering the street by parking his cop car on the curb.

“I just wanted them to stay out of the roadway,” Stevens said. “I mean, obviously they should be in school and they should be protesting after school hours, but we do have the right to protest in this country. My whole take was just trying to keep everybody safe and trying to make sure nobody got hurt while protesting.”

We wanted to march to show that we’re all the same and we have our own rights too.”

— Haley White

Principal Shahveer Dhalla told the crowd they could not continue protesting in front of the school.

“You are causing a disruption,” he informed the crowd as they waved Mexican flags and posters.

Later, a school wide announcement was made to address the protesters.

“[Protesters] have left the premise of Arlington High School,” Dhalla said. “Students I tell you this because it caused a disruption. Use good judgement, and to those still in class, I appreciate you.”

Similar protests have been recorded at Sam Houston and Lamar high schools along with junior highs in the district and schools around the Metroplex. White said the students are “trying to get all of the schools to unite.”

The protest was not free of scrutiny, with many students immediately voicing their annoyance at the pointlessness of the walkout.

“What’s the point of [protesting]?” Criscel Ramos, senior, asked. “It’s inefficient. They should do it outside of school, why are they wasting their time? They should be in school learning.”

Protesters had a message for those who opposed their demonstration.

“I hope they get inspiration to express themselves, whoever they are.” White said. “And I hope that they respond emotionally. I hope this all makes a difference somehow.”

Salazar also voiced her hopes for the protest.

“I want them to know that they can’t take us down if we’re united,” Salazar said. “We’re all together.”

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11 Comments

11 Responses to “Students walk out to protest for Hispanic rights”

  1. Melissa Snow on February 17th, 2017 2:40 PM

    My thoughts on having it during school hours is that it’s more effective that way. School seems to be the only place we really have a voice anymore, besides our social media platforms (which still primarily only reach family and schoolmates). Showing that they’re not going to sit back and be treated in the derogatory ways they’re being treated is admirable.

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  2. Ian McKerracher on February 17th, 2017 2:59 PM

    “I hope they get inspiration to express themselves, whoever they are.” White said….It seems that the opposers to the walk-out WERE expressing themselves and were just not agreeing with the protesters. One clear characteristic of 2017 protests is that the marchers assume that, if you don’t agree with them, you are wrong in too many ways to mention. That is tolerance and inclusion as defined by today’s lexicon. Sad really…

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  3. Theresa A Whisenhunt on February 17th, 2017 5:15 PM

    Do they realize the difference between illegal and legal immigration? I think some should have stayed and ask for government tutorials.

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    Joseph Reply:

    The title says ” Students walk out to protest Hispanic rights” Que? There’s not a single right for legal citizens that’s being threatened. Not one. Immigrants have same basic rights if not more. They get funds from us legal citizens to start their lives. They get free healthcare. What’s the issue? Nothing. Kids are being lied to for their future democratic votes and they don’t even know it.

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  4. James Logan on February 18th, 2017 3:19 AM

    This seems pretty silly to me. Obviously a lot of people are unhappy with the president but this just seems more of a ploy to get out class than anything. If you’re against the enforcement of immigration laws you should actually be protesting the laws themselves and not the enforcement. But then what? Legalize illegal immigration? Just allow anyone to come in whenever? Or should it be illegal to illegally come into the USA but if you make it without getting caught then you shouldn’t be deported. It’s difficult to understand the logic of these protests. Walking out of a class that the public pays for to let others know you’re against racism (which the vast majority of US citizens are against as well) seems very unproductive and a very inefficient way to achieve your goals.

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  5. The Mexican on February 18th, 2017 6:33 AM

    Yes sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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  6. Jonathan on February 18th, 2017 10:28 AM

    Waving a Mexican flag and chanting F$%K Trump…. Protesting the actions of the President trying to enforce US immigration laws. I’m a legal immigrant and insulted that these people are hijacking the essence of immigration that has made America great!

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    Joseph Reply:

    Good for you. That’s the way it’s supposed to be done. One of my best friends is from Indonesia. I think he loves this country more than any of these protesters.

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  7. Joseph on February 18th, 2017 2:39 PM

    I guess I don’t get the point of protesting when it’s said the protest was for Mexican rights. Our rights as Americans are very clear. We cannot be discriminated against because of race, sexual, age, and religion. So what’s the point of all this? Why is the Mexican flag being waved? Are you protesting for or against illegal immigration? It’s legal to immigrate here. It’s illegal to come here without going through proper channels same as it is for every other country. So I don’t get the protest at all.

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  8. Monica on February 19th, 2017 8:42 AM

    I feel for the students which feel singled out and have hate directed towards them. The social dynamics in schools are different and we should not judge. I know they are hurt but I wish for their own sake they didn’t say F***. It just makes people not take you serious. The thing is you have valid feelings and you should never downplay that by sinking to their level. Stay strong and understand highschool is one reality. You will go out into the real world soon where there will still be hate but you will need to learn how to do things to change people’s minds or know when others are just too embedded in their hate to ever reach understanding. You are the future and take comfort in that. You are right immigrants are wonderful for our country…it’s the history of our country. But realize hate and violence are also part of that history and there are still remnants of this. All you can do is be tough, go get educated, and find your own way to bring positive change to the country. Best wishes on your future.

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  9. Eric on February 20th, 2017 7:06 PM

    The image of a group of students in the middle of the high school gym floor during a pep rally waving a Mexican flag will do their cause no good, what ever that cause is. No American flag to be seen.

    The principal needs to be more concerned with maintaining discipline than catering to a protest. Allowing a protest during school, on school property, during a pep rally is outrageous. I would not send a child of mine to AHS, and I am an AHS alum.

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Students walk out to protest for Hispanic rights