INAUGURATION DAY: Westside School walkout


9:58 AM: Though much of the discussion of possible Inauguration Day student walkouts has focused on Seattle Public Schools, the first walkout of the day turned out to be from an independent school. A tip from a parent (thank you!) led us to Westside School (WSB sponsor) in Arbor Heights, where some of the preK-8 school’s older students walked out at 9 am, heading along 35th SW to SW Roxbury, then east for a bit and back to the school. More photos later.

ADDED 11:59 AM: Two more photos:



According to a letter sent to Westside families (shared with us by parents), middle-school students approached teachers and administrators yesterday with their plan for a demonstration. Here is an image of the letter – we are asking the school for a copy:

Also see comments below for explanations from students.

37 Replies to "INAUGURATION DAY: Westside School walkout"

  • thewellington January 20, 2017 (10:41 am)

    Good on them

  • Chuck Jacobs January 20, 2017 (10:42 am)

    I have absolutely no problem with this.

    If an independent school wants to allow this as part of their curriculum, I am behind them 100%. I would hope that the students participating in the walkout are clear in their minds, the purpose of their action and that they will communicate it to the public. I would further hope that the opinions and feelings of those that disagree with them are respected.

    Stay safe everyone. 

  • simon1021 January 20, 2017 (11:20 am)

    Instead of walking out of school why not have an open discussion and teach the future of our country about democracy and eliminating the growing specter of hate .

    • G January 20, 2017 (11:52 am)

      We did that first buddy

    • A Student January 20, 2017 (11:55 am)

      I totally agree with this being a student! I wish this is what teachers would do for us in a non bias environment. (Not from Westside) 

    • Zac January 20, 2017 (11:58 am)

      We did, no we decided a walkout would inform everybody on opinions, I am an 8th Grade Students who participated in this walkout

    • Ava January 20, 2017 (11:59 am)

      I am a student from Westside school, I participated in the walkout today. After we got back, our class was devoted to talking about what will happen in the future and what our views on the subject are. We are talking about how we can help and voice our opinions during this time. 

    • K January 20, 2017 (12:03 pm)

      As somebody who participated, I’d like to let you know that walking out of school was not the purpose. The purpose was to bring awareness to our entitled opinion, and to excersize our rights in a peaceful/respectful way. Before the rally every class had a 30 minute discussion about what the real point of a walkout is. Everybody gained an understanding of the purpose for the rally, and everybody was given the option to walk or not. It was completely optional, and everybody who participated was thouroughly educated, and experienced something they will never forget.

    • VL January 20, 2017 (1:13 pm)

      These students have been involved in many conversations. They chanted “Love, not hate, makes America Great!”.

  • Y-Ma January 20, 2017 (11:49 am)

     For this set of students, the activity definitely was respectful, engendered open discussion and a lesson in advocacy, civil rights and our national discourse.

    Hoping we can get the letter from Westside’s Head of School printed.

    • WSB January 20, 2017 (11:54 am)

      If someone sends it – – I don’t see anything in our mailbox and not seeing anything on the school website.

  • Great American January 20, 2017 (12:16 pm)

    I am celebrating prosperity. hope, and peace for all, that this new administration provides.  Excited for this next four/eight years!

  • Bea January 20, 2017 (12:32 pm)

    You students make me PROUD!  Trump said in his inaugural speech that schools are “flush with cash.”  On that, alone, every American needs to join you in demonstration because if you don’t know that’s a lie, your parents surely do.  Keep on setting the fine example you do.

    • Andy January 21, 2017 (7:24 am)

      As a recently retired Seattle Public Schools Certificated teacher, with 31 years of experience, I can attest to Trump’s assertion that the “schools are flush with cash.” The problem is, as it has been for many years, the mis-prioritization and dispersion of funds, not to mention an accompanying top heavy, downtown, administration. And, I might add, far too much time wasted in the classroom on mostly meaningless testing in the hope of substantiating the never ending demands for some new and different approach.  In a few years, however,  the latest end all to save all is quietly dropped, and the search for yet another methodology takes its place. 

      Yet, many students don’t even know how to hold a pencil, let alone how to spell or write legibly. And, the teaching of mathematics has gone completely off the rails. Too many students are left unprepared for occupations  requiring the knowledge of science and mathematics that will ultimately be necessary for the future of mankind on a planet that continues to become more and more populated.

      So, Bea, I agree that students need to be made aware of their civil rights, and I don’t deny there is a time for marching in the street. But, when so many other basic, but not so glamourous, educational needs go wanting, I am dismayed by what I believe to be teacher activities that remove students from the classroom.

      • Andy January 21, 2017 (8:04 am)

        I forgot to mention, in reply to those who are offended by Trump’s statement that the “schools are flush with cash,” the USA spends more money on public education, per capita, than any nation on Earth. I won’t even bother to get into the discussion of results. 

          • Andy January 21, 2017 (10:17 am)

            Okay, so we rank fifth in the world for expenditures, yet in results attained we are no where near the top ten, not even the top twenty. Clearly we as taxpayers are not getting our money’s worth. Teachers and Democrat politicians are gearing up to demand a state income tax, and I’m afraid many voters are too ill informed to see that the whole issue of under funding the schools is a sham. The real deal is that teachers want a bigger paycheck, which in my opinion is undeserved. When I retired from the Seattle Schools, including benefits, I was making over $100,000 per year. While I never claimed to be getting rich, it was far beyond the paycheck of a comparable employee in private business. 

  • Joan January 20, 2017 (12:51 pm)

    Seeing the involvement of students nationwide is heartening because they are the future! They will inherit this country, no matter what kind of shape it’s in. Hopefully they will be the next generation of activists and humanitarian-minded folks, like in the 60s.

  • cristine hahm January 20, 2017 (1:00 pm)


  • WSJoe January 20, 2017 (1:00 pm)

    Hopefully, you also discussed ISIS, Syria, Boko Harem, Mexican Cartels, Venezuela, Philippine vigilantes, Taliban, Russia, North Korea and discovered that there is less to protest about here than those areas.  We are very fortunate, regardless of who is our president.

    • Y-Ma January 20, 2017 (2:00 pm)

      I can assure you, they do

  • Wb January 20, 2017 (1:12 pm)

    Way to question authority. Critical thinking is in short supply and the most critical skill of all. When I taught (some years ago) we had the students deconstruct the settlement of the American West. 


  • MSW January 20, 2017 (1:23 pm)

    How about teaching our students more about our Constitution for a change. 

    • Y-Ma January 20, 2017 (2:07 pm)

      Well – I can speak for my student. We have a pocket-Constitution at home & flash cards about American history and governance.  In  listening to ‘Hamilton’ music  & in my reading of the history, we talk about what is fact & what is story.

      These things  – questioning & concern as well as understanding how our country came to be & what is exceptional about a peaceful transfer of power – these are not mutually exclusive.

  • WS since '66 January 20, 2017 (1:46 pm)

    In the coming week many will vilify
    these students for their beliefs and the actions those beliefs necessitate. These
    students and young adults have the courage of their convictions to stand tall
    in the face of adversity. Rest assured there are millions more who agree with
    you and support you and your actions.

  • Louis Frillman (E-mail) January 20, 2017 (1:57 pm)

    Our kids in protest

  • proud January 20, 2017 (2:21 pm)

    They are standing up for inclusion and liberty for ALL. If people have a problem with that concept then they don’t deserve a place to speak here. We need to stand side-by-side in unity. 

  • A T January 20, 2017 (2:25 pm)

    A noble effort, but they are preaching to the choir. May as well protest cloudy skies, it will have the same effect. Instead they should contact their elected representatives and make their voice heard it matters.

  • cristine hahm January 20, 2017 (2:50 pm)

    Hi Neighbors! I designed and printed a batch of these shirts in March, and in November, and was inspired again today by this slogan appearing in this very walkout march at my 5th grader’s school, so I put together a reprint campaign which is available for order now through February 10th. 100% of proceeds will support victims of hate crimes. A stylish way to wear what you stand for and send a positive vibe into the world! This time, there are 6 options available including t-shirts, sassy sweatshirts, and cool unisex tee & sweatshirt choices. � Details & ordering here:� If you like what you see, please help spread the word, and a positive vibe, by sharing this post. Cristine

  • Fran January 20, 2017 (3:10 pm)

    very disrespectful to the new President and to those who voted for him…

    • dsa January 20, 2017 (4:16 pm)

      That man does not understand respect

    • RD January 20, 2017 (5:58 pm)

      Since when did protest become disrespectful? In case you forgot Fran, free speech is one of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

    • Erico January 20, 2017 (7:37 pm)

      Obama was elected by a majority and disliked by a minority.  Trump was elected by a minority and is disliked by a majority.  Were you outraged by the disrespect shown Obama?

  • AMB January 20, 2017 (3:27 pm)

    I am so proud to be a Westside parent today! And I’m proud of our West Seattle High and Madison Middle School kids today, too. These kids have been thoughtful, inclusive, respectful, and peaceful—which is more than I can say for the grownups in charge in DC right now.  As for those of you who criticize these students, question their motives, or feel that they’re doing something wrong, I say to you, if anyone deserves to protest this election result, it’s these kids. They can’t vote. This was done TO them, and they will have to live with the consequences more than anyone. I commend our local students! You are our future and today you set a great example for the rest of us. 

    • JB January 20, 2017 (9:14 pm)

      Yes!!!! All of this. 

      -another proud Westside parent

  • PV January 20, 2017 (11:45 pm)

    Incredibly proud of these kids! This is their country and their democracy, and they are the future of this country. That alone brings me peace. Very proud to be a Westside parent on this day and every day!

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