2:05 PM: It began with the preannounced 1:30 walkout – which we’ve been covering on Twitter – then two gatherings on the south side of Thistle, and now hundreds of students who left school in a pre-announced protest of last week’s election results have marched east on Thistle toward Delridge, with police ahead and behind them.
March heading east on Thistle pic.twitter.com/Tr1Vt1cNQB
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) November 14, 2016
2:08 PM: They headed southbound on Delridge, and now have turned west onto Trenton, according to WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand, who is walking alongside the crowd.
2:22 PM: Still westbound on Trenton, past Westwood Village.
(added) The signs below represent the biggest concern we heard from talking to groups of students in the crowd – that immigrant relatives and friends would be forced to leave the country.
We’re also hearing scattered reports of protesters in other parts of West Seattle – a group south of Admiral, a group near Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge.
2:34 PM This had wrapped up with students returning to the Sealth/Denny campus. Denny is now out for the day; Sealth’s final bell is 3:15 pm. And yes, that’s a TV helicopter, though there’s not much to see.
2:55 PM: Thanks to those who forwarded a note sent to Madison families saying about 50 walked out. A group walked out at Pathfinder K-8 too (thanks to Lisa for the note). And Justin tweeted this from Jefferson Square:
— Justin Rush (@justin_devs) November 14, 2016
As far as we know, all the walkouts/protests in West Seattle are over now.
4:23 PM: More photos added inline above.
4:40 PM: We just checked with Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Luke Duecy regarding district policy for today’s walkouts. As was the case with last week’s West Seattle HS walkout, he says, “When a student leaves school without permission, the district considers that an unexcused absence. Students may not get the chance to make-up work missed. That decision on whether to allow a student to make-up work is up to an individual schools’ principal.” The district estimates that 5,000 students in all walked out of 20 middle and high schools, including Sealth and Denny, today. Also:
Seattle Public Schools is steadfast in our support for all students. While the protests are not sanctioned by the district, SPS students do have the right to peacefully demonstrate and express their personal views.
Any time a student leaves school without permission the district considers it an unexcused absence.
Staff are not taking part in the student-organized demonstrations. Some staff could observe students during their protest for safety and security reasons.
As a district we are responding to the requests and needs of our community and many schools are developing lessons and activities to have appropriate, post-election conversations in school buildings.
Regarding staff “observ(ation),” we saw both Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer and Denny principal Jeff Clark on the sidewalk along Thistle, as well as assistant principals and at least one school security official who was telling students from the start of the walkout that they had to do it off school property (unlike some smaller demonstrations we covered earlier in the year which happened on the plaza by Sealth’s entrance).