Monday, November 14, 2016

Student Walk-Out is On

Update: KIRO is reporting that the district says about 5,000 students walked out.  As well, apparently other districts - Highline, Lake Washington are two - had student walkouts as well.

End of update

I received a press release this morning about the high school student walk-out.


The walkout will take place starting at 1:30 from the students school of origin (included schools: Franklin, Garfeild (sic), The Center School, Nova, Sealth, and UW). Students will then meet up at Cal Anderson park (1653 11th Ave, Seattle WA, 98122) at 2:30. It’s a positive opportunity to show the greater Seattle community how much they care / are impacted by the issue.

The students will also be hosting a later “Protest for Solidarity” at Westlake Park (401 pine st, Seattle WA, 98101), at 4:15 pm, to express their feelings after the election and how they plan to about it going forward. Hosted by Emma Reid, Viv Nicole, and Samantha Wisner-Simmons. “EVERYONE is welcome…”

“Seattle is a diverse community, and it's our immigrant/refugee populations, LGBTQ folks, religious diversity and colorful mix of racial demographics that makes us who we are. as students, we grew up in classrooms that reflect that. Trump is threatening our core value of tolerance as a city. We had to use our voices and numbers to show that we stand with members of our community who may not feel safe now. we'll continue to resist attacks on those around us with any/all forms of student activism!” 
-Quinn Angelou-Lysaker on why they are taking a stand. (An organizer of all school walkout)
I visited Hale about 1:30 pm but saw no students leaving.  Then I headed to Roosevelt where about 100 students walked out and had a police escort down the sidewalk/street.  They were headed down the Ave towards UW where presumably they would meet up with UW students.

I interview one student, Rohan Ramdin, a soft-spoken freshman at RHS. He said he "might" have told his parents he was walking out.  He said that his teacher said everyone had 60 seconds to decide what they wanted to do and it was up to each student.  He said he did not believe he was being oppressed but believed many others, in different groups, would be under a Trump administration.

I asked him if he was angry at adults.  He said no because he thought some people really didn't believe Trump was as bad as the things he said.  I asked him if perhaps, as some principals had advocated, that the students should have waited until after school. That was a firm "no" from Rohan who said more kids could do this during a school day and it had to be "big and loud." 

Photos below from Stranger reporter, Sydney Brownstone who reports that there must be 1,000 students at Cal Anderson park.

Students leave Garfield High School








Garfield students

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hale students participated. They marched along 35th Ave NE.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Ballard High School marched as well.

--Fedmomof2

Christine E. said...

Lots of Ingraham kids participated too, including mine. They were out on Aurora and on the 130th bridge over I-5. I hadn't heard that the plan was to eventually gather at Cal Anderson Park. They'd have to bus there as their school is 9 miles away.

Anonymous said...

Dear Families,

Today, approximately 500 of our students, parents and neighbors participated in a national student walkout to exercise their constitutional right to protest. According to our U.S. Constitution and our Seattle Public Schools’ Students’ Rights and Responsibilities, “students and schools cannot unduly infringe on those rights. It includes “Freedom of Speech, Right to Assembly, and the Right to Petition.”

Students who chose to participate in the walkout will be marked absent by their teachers. They will have to work with their teachers to make up any work that they missed.

During the walk out, students called out messages of support to all members of our community and society, and shared quotes and posters during their march. They marched around our campus then gathered together for thoughtful and meaningful closing remarks after one hour of demonstration. Security and administrative staff kept students on the sidewalks to ensure safety.

We have a diverse student population and I know that not everyone was in support of the protest. However, our students have the right to free speech and to protest. We must continue to first seek to understand one another and accept differing views. Today our students came together in solidarity to listen and understand one another.

Let us know if you have further questions or concerns,

Jill Hudson, Ed.D. and Jolene Grimes Edwards
Co-Principals
Ensuring that ALL students become honorable, thinking, skillful citizens

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

For the millionth time in the past decade I wish Jill Hudson was SPS Supe. Class act. Effective. Great administrator. All about the students.

DistrictWatcher

Melissa Westbrook said...

North-end Mom, Hale must have walked out before 1:30 pm; I was going off the press release.

DistrictWatcher, Hudson might be better than Nyland but I'm not so sure about all those qualities you named.

Anonymous said...

HIMS middle school students also demonstrated. They were marked absent for the period.
-HIMS middle school

Anonymous said...

Lots of students at Ingraham choose not participate, smart kids.

BN

John said...

Just found out my middle-schooler's school did a student walkout as well, which she joined. I firmly support this.

Anonymous said...

Porkbelly said...


Just found out more students remained in class than walked out. What does that mean?

Eric M said...

I urge those of you with good hearts to weigh in at the Times and local TV sites. The hate for students and the 1st Amendment is palpable.

Po3 said...

"Just found out more students remained in class than walked out. What does that mean?"

Could mean they didn't support the rally.
Could mean that they have am immigration status that makes them fearful to assemble.
Could mean they had a test or presentation that they couldn't afford to miss.
Could mean they were obeying parent instructions.
Could mean that your report is wrong and the numbers were flipped.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Porkbelly, what does it mean if they stayed in class?

1) fear of losing class time/assignments (teachers can decide if they will give assignments/accept them)
2) fear of parent disapproval
3) already have unexcused absences
4) some are glad Trump was elected
5) some don't care who got elected
6) some don't like walking

I mean, they are teenagers; there are many reasons any given student might not participate.

RHS mom said...

My son wanted to walk out but he is a RHS freshman and the principal told everone that they would be given an unexcused absence. We don't know what that means but we're worried it might effect his record/college applications. Wish I had told him just to do it because it was the right thing...

Anonymous said...

So sad to see the Ingraham students displaying "Grab Pussy " signs on the Aurora and 130th overpass. Two wrongs don't make a right. Sure the guy said it private, but these students are openly subjecting innocent bystanders to their obscenities.

I would like these students identified and subject to suspension.

Ingraham Parent

madpark said...

"America was never great" sign holder, I am assuming that's an AP History kid.

Are they protesting free presidential elections?

Anonymous said...

@Melissa,

Hale students left campus a bit later than 1:30. They were on NE 35th when I arrived at about 2pm.

-North-end Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ingraham Parent, it's free speech so good luck with that suspension nonsense. That would be punitive and have a chilling effect on students' rights to speak out. As for the actual language, Mr. Trump was at work when he said that - out of his office but at work. He was with a film crew and had worked with film crews before. There was very little private in that conversation.

I think the "America never was great" means for POC. (I saw another sign with that.) I do not believe American "never" was great but it can depend on your POV.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The Center School marched too.

TCS parent

Anonymous said...

The protest accomplished nothing except to reinforce what the new ruling political party's belief that public schools are simply indoctrination centers for the liberal progressive agenda. The protesters are helping the charter supporters by providing examples of poor district enforcement of rules and caving to the progressive view point.

God only knows what the next walkout over will be over?

Grow up

Anonymous said...

Lake Washington Girls Middle School students had the option to participate, with staff and parent supervision. Most participated. Good for them!

Eric M, never read the comments section of Seattle media. It's filled with hateful comments of people who apparently have all the time in the world to comment, and who consider themselves experts on every possible subject. They hate on everyone.

Inspired

Anonymous said...

This looks really peaceful and a wonderful expression, but someone on soup for teachers said students were being pepper sprayed downtown. Can anyone corroborate? I'd like to see that reported on if so.

TC2

Anonymous said...

Most Garfield students walked out. This level of outrage is unprecedented, schools aren't "caving" to a whim, the emotions and need to express them are that powerful. You can't explain these feelings of shock, disgust and fear with mere indoctrination. It is profoundly educational to be able to exercise your free speech rights as a citizen of a democracy at a time when they most matter.

Mama Bulldog

Anonymous said...

Ingraham parent,

the kids are disgusted at what drumf said, absolutely disgusted. they want people to know what kind of perv has been elected.I don't doubt that we'll be seeing "grab
'em by the p***y" signs on a regular basis until that orange-faced hitler wannabe is gone.

proud parent

Unknown said...

I climbed onto a bus. It was awesome. It's so sad that it's come to this we shouldn't even have such a terrible soon to be president. Our electoral system sucks

Anonymous said...

Spoiled children that must have missed the class discussion on the "peaceful transfer of power" because they were out protesting another liberal cause de jour.

Would they have been out there protesting if the corrupt candidate backed by Goldman Sachs and the Saudi royal family were elected?

Bitter, Clinging and Deplorable

Anonymous said...

They aren't protesting the peaceful transfer of power. They are protesting the vile individual who was elected, which we all have the constitutional right to do. It's not a political protest, it goes much deeper. It's a protest for common decency. This is something we must all fight for, and even children understand that.

Mama Bulldog

Anonymous said...

My friend's daughter has already been subjected to boys on her bus loudly proclaiming that it is okay to grab girls by their pussies because Trump did it. This was in PA. My friend has complained to the school.

Trump has normalized racism, sexism, assault on women, anti-semitism and Islamophobia. The number of hate crimes is increasing.

HP

Anonymous said...

HP, I fear you are right. Not only are racism, sexism, and open religious persecution being normalized, but this will be the tenor of all future elections, as it was successful. Not good times to be other than white, Christian, and male.

Agree with Mama Bulldog, this is not a typical election. The emotional impact has been huge, as Trump won by attacking many of us personally. My bank branch manager told me that for 3 days after the election some of his customers were actually crying when talking about it in the bank. Not typical at all. Many people I know feel they are actually mourning. I feel I am suffering the loss of the American ideal, that we are all equal under the law, and liberty and justice for all. That Trump has the leader of the alt right movement directing his transition (after directing his campaign), should frighten anyone who loves what the USA supposedly stands for. Rational Republicans I know are sick at heart as well.

I think a lot of blue collar Dems in the industrial Midwest crossed over to vote for Trump because they were conned by his rhetoric that he would bring back manufacturing jobs. As if he could. And thinking Republicans crossed over because they realized the genuine threat Trump poses to our nation. (E.g., Colin Powell.)

Anyway, good on these kids for using their voices and claiming their power. And Trump is a narcissist who needs to be admired. Maybe protests will actually help.

Hard Times

Melissa Westbrook said...

Grow Up, the district didn't cave. They cannot force students to stay in the building. Also, it's an unexcused absence, no matter what, and the teachers do not have to allow the students to make up work they missed. The students ARE being penalized for their actions.

There is a peaceful transfer of power - perhaps you missed the Obamas welcoming the Trumps to the White House and the President spending over 90 minutes with Trump. The people of the country have a right to protest anything they want.

One thing I do think will not be peaceful - but yes, will happen - is Trump's inauguration. I'm sure there will be protesters there as well.

Erik Tanen said...

To all the individuals that think our kids should not exercise there constitutional rights of free speach and assembly should go back and read the constitution.
Our kids protested at Stevens last year and saw a change. It was a great learning process for them that you can peacefully disagree and assert your voice.
Just as the students protesting Trump are learning to have a voice and be empowered. They will be the future leaders that will continue the march of progress ( Even if we took two steps backward)

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Anonymous said...

Debating whether or not students should walk out of schools that are products of a segregated neighborhood assignment plan, PTA inequalities, and HCC that is segregated
is largely hypocritical unless...

the same people applauding the actions of these students are actively working toward rectifying these inequities in SPS.

Otherwise, you are perpetuating the hyopcritical elitism that caused many to vote for Trump in droves.

In fact, you are actively manifesting daily in your and your children's own lives what you say you most abhor about Trump--white privilege.

As long as you persist in your privilege at the expense of decent fairness, all of this "liberal outrage" is transparently phony.

FWIW

Erik Tanen said...

How is it hypocritical to support all students the right for free speech and assembly and not support your list of injustices.
Both are important but are only tangentially connected.
It's not about me ( or you) and my commitment to eductional equity, it's about students right to protest and feeling empowered.

Anonymous said...

The AGENDA they are protesting is what I'm talking about.

If they were protesting in favor of KKK during school hours,
as if the protest itself were the only issue, I'm sure you might
have a different response.

However, getting back to the issue of "liberal" hypocrisy which your
post managed to avoid...

FWIW

Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh FWIW, isn't there anyplace else you'd like to be? So tiresome. And the psot is not about "liberal hypocrisy" - it's about kids and freedom of speech.

Anonymous said...

That's your response when your track record is the support of the powerful in this district year after year, Melissa.

It's probably does feel "tiresome" when someone is calling out the hypocrisy.

It certainly won't change the agenda of this blog and the district, which
is to talk equity but never walk the talk.

Again, it's not just about freedom of speech but the agenda behind it.

Tsk, Tsk-ing, which is the equivalent of holding your ears and shouting, "Yes, I am
a liberal" certainly isn't making your positions and the majority on this blog any more progressive in terms of this school district.

FWIW

Erik Tanen said...

FWIW,
As Melissa mentioned this post is about kids and free speech.
But I'll take your bait.
Liberal hypocrisy does not always exist just because someone doesnt don't take an active role in fighting for rectifying eductional inequality.
Many "liberals" as well as most of America don't take an active role in civic engagement. The fact that 100,000,000 people did not participate is very telling. This does not mean that they are all hypocrites. They participate by voting for liberal candidates or donating money to liberal causes that fight for equity.
In all my years of being very involved, I might see 5 - 10 percent of parents actively involved in any thing at all in the politics of school or social injustice. They donate money to the pta with understanding that the pta advocates for all students.
What exactly do you do to rectify the inequity in Seattle publuc schools?

Erik Tanen said...

FWIW,
Not sure what exactly is your issue.
The kids are protesting about social justice. So, by supporting someone's right to protest for social Justice, I'm a hypocrite.
Interesting!!

Anonymous said...

Translation: We'll keep the SPS privilege thing going because it's working so well for me and mine. In the meantime, we'll say the right things.

I've got my end covered, but nice try at ad hominem pivot.

FWIW

Melissa Westbrook said...

I support "the powerful?" Like who? Because my record of who I support is very clear. It may not be clear to you because I don't have to go around stating it but the people I have supported, helped and advocated for certainly do.

Again, FWIW, you want to sneer and think you are so much smarter/more caring than the rest of us, go ahead. Of course, you don't sign your name so how would we even know. Oh right - you told us so.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

This blog (you) and the majority of its posters support the neighborhood assignment plan and PTA funding inequities (except when you don't), and you state (all the time) that HCC is "open to all" which defies all research into subject (which clearly shows that these tests should be locally normed in order to increase diversity).

Whatever else you do, which I don't doubt you do, pales in comparison with you and this blog's adherence to continuing these systematic policies which adversely affect non-privileged students throughout their schooling at SPS on a daily basis.

That's what I'm talking about.

p.s. Your anonymous name policy is only an issue when you disagree.

FWIW

Anonymous said...



"which clearly shows that these tests should be locally normed in order to increase diversity".... WRONG


"this blog's adherence to continuing these systematic policies"... how confused are you? who controls these decisions? mw or m tolley? please

-hc

Melissa Westbrook said...

FWIW, you tend to repeat the same thing over and over. In that way, it's just annoying. Restating your point is not going to make it better. One time per thread is enough.

I was neutral on the SAP. I always was. I did say there were good points but there are also bad points. And I firmly and loudly supported the 10% seat seat-aside for high schools (which never happen and I called that out as well.)

As for PTA, what exactly would you have me do? I absolutely understand the inequities. I have repeatedly talked about maybe the SCPTSA should talk about this (and you should talk to them, not me.) I have brought up that Portland has some kind of PTA sharing. I have called out the pressure on PTAs in SPS that fund staff and I believe that wrong. I have called out how the district leans heavily on PTAs to shore up programs and again, how that's wrong.

As for HCC, it is open to all. Is the testing right? Probably not but again, what would you have me do? I starting getting active in SPS precisely over Advanced Learning.

And the business about anonymous people and their comments? Wrong again. I wish everyone would sign their names here. A few do and I appreciate that.

So snipe away but truly this is the last time I will comment on anything you write.

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Anonymous said...

fwiw i wonder why you think so poorly of the parents of hcc. seems a little hitting close to home isn't it? if you consider the incredible injustice that was segregation and apartheid you wouldn't use those terms lightly. but you throw them around like there are no victims to false labels.

i agree there could be more done for frl, 2e and ell. but the district has set up this false dichotomy. and it is the likes of m tolley who really call the shots. he likes the divide and conquer technique. he is doing it now with cascadia. no way to honor the promises to keep the kids together so east of i5 you are going to have to grin and take it, just like every other split lossers.

hims app was a huge mistake. but solved a lot of problems for sps. not so much for meeting the demands of hc kids. next fix for sps is splitting cascadia. with no curriculum that tolley promised. with no specialized counseling that was approved by the board. with little or no professional development. and of course the biggest lie is that they will not be self contained so they will have to make things look better by having mixed classes like tm.

you know a thing or two about those mixed classes at tm so why is the call for volunteers so frequent at tm to teach just one subject? i don't recall ever having seen any call for volunteers in the past. is it because katie may wasn't really teaching gen ed kids ss or is it because having 50%frl kids in classes with kids accepting the challenge to work 2+ grade levels above (majority historically scoring in hs level in la) is a really STUPID idea?

sorry i feel you are just wrong... and directing your poorly thought ideas at the wrong people. i am sure m tolley would love to sit down with you to figure out how to get rid of hcc. have tea with tolley would you.

nc


Erik Tanen said...

FWIW,
What exactly are you going on about exactly? You keep make rambling statements about privilege.
I'm sorry that there is inequity in our society, but to assume that everyone that you don't know is somehow perpetuating the condition is unfair and misinformed on your part. You have no idea what I or anyone else who reads this blog do on a daily basis to try and deal with educational inequity.
Since you won't say what you do to help( which is probably nothing). What would you have the rest of us do. Be specific.
I agree that Melissa should not be asking you to sign your name.

Anonymous said...

Hard Times-- I checked out the local paper in the small rural midwest town where my husband's non college educated working class/poor family lives. His family uses an antenna to avoid cable bill & the PBS station & news channel signal does not come in. So they read their "local" paper and watch only a few TV stations. The difference in news is amazing! They are not hearing much at all about the white nationalist Stephen Bannon appointment of Trump. The certainly do not get clear, quality, accurate and informed news. We all need to be aware of this major issue in the US right now.
-worried

Anonymous said...

We have antenna TV, no cable, and read the "local" paper. Quality of the local news is somewhat questionable, even in Seattle. We also listen to the radio. We can listen to NPR. It's free. Looking at Middletown, OH, home of Hillbilly Elegy author, they have two local radio stations broadcasting NPR in Middletown alone, with another 30 or so throughout the state. People will stay as informed as they want to be.

-realist

Anonymous said...

keep up the good fight FWIW

HCC is a bad program, basically private school at public cost

These parents will never compromise, it's always the same line
"it's open to anybody"

subtext, blacks and the poor aren't smart enough because they're poor

did I say subtext, correction, they come right out and scream it every time their private school experience is threatened.

The district needs to quit cowering from these noisy and influential parents and do what is right and best for all kids in the district.

It's a disgrace to have a two tiered system in Seattle.

Real 3 and 4 SD outliers need something apart, the rest should be clustered and taught locally.

canada goose

Anonymous said...




"did I say subtext, correction, they come right out and scream it every time their private school experience is threatened."

show me a private school with 30 kids in a primary classroom. fact is cascadia is the opposite of private- crowded facilities. and yet hardly anyone really takes that to heart. hc community is active but they aren't screaming racist like you contend. they are screaming mad at the way we get pushed around and called names like you do all the time.

state mandates hc. cheap sps provides it at the lowest it can. in fact lower than gen ed and much lower than sped. imagine 30 sped kids crammed into the dilapidated building like lincoln. i'm sure you wouldn't hold your tongue m.

as for subtext there is none in your hate filled post. why so sour? hcc is here to stay as it is the cheapest way to provide services and the kids have historically relented to transient primary/ms building/cohort to fit sps' needs. oh and m. tolley has no problem lying to us... and we let him. nothing private about that ... it sucks.

nc

Anonymous said...

nc has it wronf. Itsprivate school even better. Nobody below grade level nobofy poor nobofy black.

30 kids is much better when they all work at or anove grade level

Dont cloud the waterc

NO TWO TRACK SYSTEM IN SPS!

starbuck

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...


why mw?

-nc

Melissa Westbrook said...

Some of these comments are near incoherent are not helping the discussion.

Anonymous said...

so you let this stand:

"nc has it wronf. Itsprivate school even better. Nobody below grade level nobofy poor nobofy black.

30 kids is much better when they all work at or anove grade level

Dont cloud the waterc

NO TWO TRACK SYSTEM IN SPS!

starbuck"

no m, you are sadly mistaken about a lot of things but hcc and private you seem to have things really off. sorry they have made your life so miserable. what is it though that has beat you up about the program? i know you post a lot paranoid stuff, what makes you think so poorly of people. it is the same with fwiw which is an even more mixed bag considering their tremendous support for their school. it isn't anything generally about the program --- this is personal.

seems like you are being a tad unfair. thanks for all your hard work though.
nc

Anonymous said...

Original topic of post: Walk outs. Not HCC. Stop responding to the off topic posts, people!

-try it

Anonymous said...

They are tangentially related. Trump wants vouchers and he'll get them as the Republicans have pushed vouchers for years. Then everyone gets to go to apply to the school of their choice. No doubt discriminatory schools will be set up, whether by religion, tests, special needs or language ability, who knows with Trump maybe race based schools will be allowed.

As evidenced by the large private school population in Seattle many parents do not like SPS. Some additional number will surely leave when vouchers become reality.

In fact, it will destroy public schools and we won't ever squabble about the HCC again because the district as we know it will be gone.

Mark

Anonymous said...


yeah mark. the walk out is about corrupted change. the election was effectively stolen. that will affect us all across the board. just like m. tolley's changes over the years to app/hcc and the fact that it is done in the name of equity is just a joke. there is no proof to segregation or apartheid but m. and fwiw continue to call hcc parents just that. should they say that about m. tolley as he is the one who until now has been directing the policy on this. parents are angry in hcc as we see this program being depleted it also means our kids have to repeat subjects. on site management (something m. tolley could get rid of) degrades what little curriculum there is. so yeah the donald is coming to stir this pot even more and hcc is probably the only group best set for this as there really isn't much there... and yet it saves the district money so no more changes should be made.

-nc