Our coverage of Saturday’s Town Hall in West Seattle, featuring our area’s three state legislators, includes Rep. Eileen Cody‘s observation that she is somewhat surprised our state’s budget crisis isn’t drawing more demonstrations of concern. Are protests passé? Not necessarily – in fact, one small demonstration had happened in West Seattle hours earlier, in support of another hot issue – and the demonstrators (photo above) were middle schoolers. The story, with video including the young protesters’ explanations, after the jump:
As part of the uproar over the anti-collective-bargaining legislation in Wisconsin, there was a call for students nationwide to walk out of their classes at 2 pm local (anywhere) time on Friday afternoon.
Here in Seattle, there was no evidence of mass demonstrations – but we did learn of one planned protest. Mom Katie Hendricks e-mailed to let WSB know that her daughter Skyler, who had taken an interest in the Wisconsin events and even attended a recent rally in Olympia, planned to participate, along with any friends/classmates who were interested. (And yes, Katie says they asked teachers’ permission.)
With Katie, we waited outside Denny International Middle School at 2 pm Friday to see what would happen. Here’s what we saw, and what we heard from several of the students who answered our “what are you doing and why?” question, starting with Skyler, and ending with part of what Katie told them after they spoke:
After we talked with the students, they took pieces of orange tape to place over their mouths (top photo), writing “If you can read this, thank a teacher” on the tape. As mom Katie had put it in her original note, “It’s just a small effort but I’m very excited whenever there’s an opportunity like this that allows our kids to learn to be freethinkers, and to stand up and be a voice for something they believe in.” P.S. This writer tracked walkouts nationwide and had counted 20 states.