On Thursday morning, Natasha Mignott received a text from her son asking if he could be a part of a protest at school. Initially, she was worried the Palmetto High senior would get in trouble. But once the school permitted the non-school-sponsored event, she was proud.
“I applaud him and his fellow classmates to care enough to be outraged,” she said. “I think it was a good thing. We all need an outlet to release the anger, disappointment and a ton of other emotions.’’
On Thursday afternoon, about 25 students from Palmetto High took part in a 15-minute protest around noon against President-elect Donald Trump, according to Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego.
The district said the students chanted and held signs decrying Trump’s win on Tuesday, reading #Not My President. Trump won the Electoral College votes — 290 vs. 228 for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton — but lost the popular vote by more than 280,000. The protest was held during the class transition time and was peaceful.
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“We’re not telling children to do one thing or the other,” Gonzalez-Diego said. “We want to make sure we protect students’ rights to express their views and any concerns they might have.”
Across the country, thousands have taken to the streets over the past two days to protest the impending presidency of Trump, who during his run for the presidency labeled Mexicans as “rapists,” called for a ban on Muslims entering the country in violation of the U.S. Constitution, boasted of sexually assaulting women on a video, mocked a disabled reporter for the New York Times and whose campaign drew support from white supremacists.
An anti-Trump rally is scheduled at 6 p.m. Friday at Bayfront Park in Miami.
The school system permitted the protest in accordance with policy 2240, which “provides students with the right to form and express an opinion on controversial issues without jeopardizing their relationship with the teacher or the school.”
Once school officials were informed of the event Wednesday night through an Instagram post, they met with event organizers and decided upon a time and location. Though parents were notified of the event via voice message and email, the school system said they waited until the protest received official event approval before notifying the parents.
Mignott said her she’s grateful the school allowed the students to have the event. While she and her son recognize that protesting won’t change the outcome, they needed an outlet for their feelings.
“He knows this is not going to change. It’s just that they’re all angry just like the rest of us,” she said. “They’re young adults. … They’re not kids.”