Why I walked out of high school last week

Students take it to the streets to protest Trump

Here’s what I learned at school last week: How to walk down Market Street, block traffic, make a statement, and be surrounded by people I love and support.

The day after the election was quite emotional. Every class I had ended up into a big discussion about how we felt, why he won, and what we want to do to help. By he, I mean the infamous Donald Trump, who is currently our president elect. It is scary. It is very scary to live in a country that will be under Republican rule. It’s especially scary to realize how far we’ve come as a country, and how much this will set us back.

I am so incredibly lucky to live in such an amazing place. We live in one of the most liberal areas in the world — and everyone here is upset, confused and scared. But we live in a place that will always continue to fight and stand together.

That’s one of the reasons I decided to walk out of school Thursday. I was not alone – at least 3,000 high school kids left classes and took to the streets. Like many of them, I was feeling upset and irritated and I just wanted to be in a big group of people going through the same things I am. We wanted to shout out our frustrations. I don’t think shouting in the streets will make Donald Trump become an educated, kind person, but it was amazing to combine our voices and share our opinions.

My swim coach came up to me after school and asked my friends and I why we cared so much, because Trump is not going to have a super huge impact on us –we’re young, and young teenagers aren’t supposed to care. But I do care. We all care.

We don’t want to live in a world that will die in 30 years. We don’t want to live in a world where people of color get oppressed and shot down (literally). We don’t want to live in a world where we’re going to pay off debt our entire lives. We don’t want to live in a world where our friends and family get split up and taken away. We are scared. We are confused. We feel a bit hopeless.

No one wants to listen to us, no one takes us seriously. We got so many glares walking down the street.  There were a lot of annoyed adults who thought they were better than us. There were very few adults with us in the street.

But that’s what made it so amazing. Kids that don’t even know each other were laughing and screaming and being together.

Some people thought it was stupid to protest. But we were not just protesting. We live in a society where we never get to share our opinions and we wanted to let the world know that we are upset. We just wanted to let everything go, and show how united and strong we are.

We really are stronger together. Teenagers are this county’s future. Trust me, we care.

Vivian Redmond is a first-year student at Gateway High

  • Y.

    I was happy to vote for lowering the voting age to 16, because I have heard so much thoughtful commentary from high schoolers in the past. This article makes me even happier that I did.
    I’m looking forward to have you vote in a couple of years, Ms. Redmond.

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  • Don Sebastopol

    Not to be a Republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.

    If you’re not a socialist before you’re twenty-five, you have no heart; if you are a socialist after twenty-five, you have no head.

    If you aren’t a liberal when you’re young, you have no heart, but if you aren’t a middle-aged conservative, you have no head.

    • Greg

      The 19th century called. They want their cliches back.

      • Don Sebastopol

        Clichés yes but there is a lot of truth to it. There is the assumption that the current millennials will vote the same in the future as they do now. Many of those old conservatives were once liberals.

        • Greg

          Not much truth actually. The research is all over the map on whether the phenomenon even exists. Many new studies are saying the opposite:
          http://www.livescience.com/2360-busting-myth-people-turn-liberal-age.html
          To the extent that the phenomenon does exist, the reasons why may not be to your liking -less intellectual curiosity, more rigidity of thinking, slower information processing:
          https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mr-personality/201410/why-are-older-people-more-conservative

          I think there may be nuggets of truth in both positions. I know I’ve gone from conservative/libertarian to liberal to progressive as I’ve matured and gained knowledge about the world around me. But I’m an intellectually curious person. I’ll hear out and even seek out information and viewpoints that challenge my world view. And I’m just an experience seeker in general, and I’ve found that more diverse experiences lead people to become more liberal. That may not be true with people who aren’t open/curious to begin with.

          One interesting thing I’ve noticed… there have been many Supreme Court Justices who have gone from conservative to liberal as they aged: Warren, Brennan, Stevens, Powell, Black, Souter, Blackmun. Others have certainly not gone in that direction, such as Rhenquist, Scalia, and Thomas. But interestingly, I can’t think of a single case where one of the justices drifts the other way over their career. Seems to me that if your job is to sit and listen to different people’s arguments, either your mind is open and you tend to gravitate toward a more liberal direction, or your mind is closed and you don’t.

    • Porfirio666

      How often have I heard that old saw since I was a teenybopper: About 200 times.

    • Y.

      Many old assholes have been assholes all their lives, though.

    • 4th Gen SF

      At 20ish you believe in Utopia, free love, freebies, free money, free everything.
      At 40is you’ve been slaving away for a couple of decades, you’ve been through the wars, you are just OVER IT, you’re cranky, and you hate the freebie people.
      And you have a mortgage, you want the freebie people to work for a living.

  • Don Sebastopol

    We don’t want to live in a world where we’re going to
    pay off debt our entire lives. Isn’t that the world under Obama?

    • Y.

      Under everyone else for the last 180 years or so. The debt did go down during the Clinton era.

  • Porfirio666

    A nice piece of reporting!

  • 4th Gen SF

    GATEWAY HS? Oh I see the Gentrificatioin HS that was once all black but now mostly White or BIRACIALS that go there. Also really FAR from Tim’s house. Why wouldn’t Tim send his child to the LOCAL SCHOOL in Bernal? I find that kind of racist, actually. BC the one near his home is almost 100% black/latino.

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