SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Students from at least 10 different high schools walked out of school today and marched around the city to protest the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States.
San Francisco Unified School District officials today put the number of students in the district participating in the walkout and protests at around 2,000.
Part of the loosely organized protest gathered at City Hall early today, and then walked down Market Street, through downtown and along the Embarcadero. At least one group reportedly made an attempt on the Golden Gate Bridge, while others split off or approached downtown from other directions.
In the afternoon, however, a number of groups converged on City Hall again, gathering on the steps as speakers took turns with a megaphone, voicing their concerns about Trump.
Fritz, a freshman from the independent Bay School of San Francisco who attended with a group of four friends, called Trump racist, sexist and homophobic.
"Donald Trump cannot be our president. I mean it's depressing, America, I thought we were better than this," Fritz said.
Nate, also a freshman at Bay School of San Francisco, said, "It's nice to have a voice, even if we can't vote."
He said if underage teen students were able to vote, "that probably would have changed things" in the narrow race between Trump and Democratic candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Perri Cox, a 15-year-old Lincoln High School student who was at the protest with her mother, said, "I don't want Trump as my president for the rest of my teen years."
Cox said she hoped the San Francisco students' protest, one of several taking place around the Bay Area Wednesday and today about the election of Trump, "will draw attention to the fact that he shouldn't be our president."
Students from the Bay School of San Francisco said they were there with the permission of their parents and teachers.
SFUSD officials said while they supported the students' right to free speech, the walkout from the public schools "was not authorized by SFUSD staff" and families would be notified through the district's attendance system about their unexcused absence, per standard protocol.
Interim Superintendent Myong Leigh attended the rally at City Hall and said he had "mixed feelings" about the walkout because of concerns for the students' safety, but said "We're proud of these young people, we're proud of the actions they're taking to channel their emotions and we want them to know we stand with them."
The protest affected Muni service on Market Street and Embarcadero at various points during the day, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
"We recognize our students' right to free speech and understand their need to use it. The walkout this morning was not authorized by SFUSD staff," district officials said. "Per our standard protocol, we will be notifying families regarding their unexcused absence through our attendance system."
Many other Bay Area students are joining the protest in their cities as well including the following schools:
- Milpitas High School
- Pinole High School
- Woodside High School - students are not going to class and are staging a sit-in in the quad
- Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek
- ARISE High School in Oakland
- Alameda High School
- Castro Valley High School
- Pittsburg High School
- Concord High School
- Napa Area schools