WASHINGTON - D.C. public school students left class in droves Tuesday afternoon to participate in a walkout demonstration protesting President-Elect Donald Trump's win. Students rode Metro downtown, marching to the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue NW and later heading towards the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall.
Students began leaving Wilson High School in northwest DC at noon, taking the Metro from Tenleytown to Metro Center and marching downtown to Trump's new hotel. Hundreds of students gathered outside holding signs and chanting, "Not My President," "We reject the president-elect, ""Donald Trump is not okay" and "No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA."
Several students were seen climbing a window sill while another climbed to the top of a statue outside the building before being ordered to the ground. People inside the hotel were seen peering out the windows to see what was happening on the sidewalk below.
A DC police officer told FOX 5's Matt Ackland they estimated about 3,000 students attended the event, though only hundreds were expected. The demonstration was peaceful, and at times when a student was heard swearing, their peers were actually the ones to stop them from taking the event in a negative direction.
After rallying outside the hotel, the students marched to Capitol Hill and then to the Supreme Court before heading back down the National Mall, stopping at the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.
A flier announcing the event was circulated on social media Monday. It said, “This is a peaceful and positive demonstration meant to send one message to our future president: he can’t divide us.” DCPS said the event was not sanctioned by the school system, and said any student who left class to participate in the demonstration would be marked with an unexcused absence.
FOX 5 spoke to kids as young as 11 who attend DC International School and were participating in the protest. Many students said they were proud to be taking part and that their parents supported their decision to voice their opinions publicly.
The protest in the District follows a similar event Monday in Montgomery County, when hundreds of high school students took to the streets to declare their opposition to Trump. The demonstrations were centered on the Silver Spring and Wheaton areas, and the events were peaceful. No arrests were reported.
Some Montgomery County students were also in attendance at Tuesday's rally in the District. The school system said those students would receive an unexcused absence for Tuesday unless they received a note from their parents giving them permission to attend.