Seattle high school students, taking it to the streets.
Seattle high school students, taking it to the streets. Amber Cortes

Let’s face it: Friday morning was a double down on your anti-depressants kind of moment. Here in Seattle, the pussy-grabbing POTUS was already sworn in before we could even gulp down our second cup of coffee. It was rough. But, take heart. By Friday afternoon students from middle and high schools all over the Seattle area (Shorecrest, Ingraham, Shorewood, Edmonds, Woodway, Roosevelt, Nova, Franklin, West Seattle, Center School, Garfield, and Chief Sealth, to name a few) walked out of class and took to the streets to protest the inauguration.

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Here’s a slice of what some of them had to say. Read it and don’t weep—from this vantage point, our future looks bright, diverse, and determined.

Zamzam, Asha, and Sumeya
Zamzam, Asha, and Sumeya Amber Cortes

Sumeya, 15; Asha, 17; and Zamzam, 18
Franklin High School

Why are you walking out today?

Sumeya: Because we don't like Trump and we don't believe what he says about Muslims.

Asha: I don't like what Trump says about Muslims. And he has no right to say what he's saying, and he has no right to become president.

Zamzam: Because he doesn't like Muslims and he only cares for his fans, his people.

Asha: But, also the sexism and racism… Basically he's against gay people, black people, everybody but himself.

What are you most worried about given the incoming Trump administration?

Asha: Well, I'm worried about the people, the refugees and the immigrants, that's what I'm worried about. And that he's not going to make America great again.

Sumeya: Yeah same here, the refugees... Like, I know a lot of refugees and they're scared of getting deported and stuff.

Zamzam: I'm also worried because he has, like, a single story stereotype about Muslims and immigrants, so he will most likely encourage people who have this same stereotype to do whatever they want.

What are you going to do about it?

Asha: I'm trying to start a group that's against Trump in my high school, next year, my senior year, basically. We're going to be talking my Trump and how it affects us.. .all about his negativity.

Zamzam: Actually, you know the way I dress, that inspires me, as a Muslim girl. And also, like, when I walk down the street people are scared of me and stuff because of this stereotype that they have. So, I will never give up, and I will continue going to school and learning the issues that are going around the world, and always use my knowledge to advocate for myself and for others.

Isiah, Mercer Middle School
Isiah, Mercer Middle School Amber Cortes

Isaiah, 13
Asa Mercer Middle School

Why are you walking out today?

Well, there are many problems in the world already. And if you have the power to do something and you don't do anything, then the things that happened—you could have stopped them. And so you take part of the blame. And so I think that because I'm able bodied, and I can come out here, that I should come out here.

What are you most worried about given the incoming Trump administration?

[Laughs.] So many things. Just all of the “isms” that he brings into the office. Because I believe that he's not increasing racism, but he's bringing out what's already there, and that it's becoming acceptable to... be the way he is and share his views in public and to execute like, racist and sexist acts.

What are you going to do about it?

I'm not sure yet. But I'm not going to stop showing up.

Leo and Hailie
Leo and Hailie Amber Cortes

Hailie and Leo, both 16

Why are you walking out today?

Hailie: Because I believe, as students, we should have the voice and the right to walk out against Trump.

Leo: Well, I mean, like the speakers were saying, there are a lot of people here who don't have the same privileges that I personally grew up having. And so if I can be out here and help those people, then that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to be an ally. Do my best.

What are you most worried about given the incoming Trump administration?

Hailie: Mostly just, I don't know… everything. Just everything. Yet the health care issue would affect my family a lot. So, that's one of the personal things of why am I'm out here, is for the health care and stuff like that.

Leo: I mean, like, for me, my mom is gay and she has a girlfriend and... the health care would totally mess us up. And, just, him being in power which will overall mess everything up with my life, personally—and I'm sure a lot of other people's lives, in even more impactful ways.

What are you going to do about it?

Hailie: Just try to speak out and keep trying to give other people a voice if they can't have one themselves. So... just keep protesting, I guess!

Leo: Yeah. Continue to be a really good ally to others who need it, and do my best to help give voices [strength] and take some of my strength to help push them up to the top. Because there are other people who have voices that need to be heard as well!