Dynamic Duo: Two eighth graders organize a student protest against Donald J. Trump’s Inaguration

Frida+Capitan-Parra+%288%29+and+Kaia+Newton+%288%29+stand+with+thier+peers+during+the+walk+out.+Photo+by+ARS+Press.

Frida Capitan-Parra (8) and Kaia Newton (8) stand with thier peers during the walk out. Photo by ARS Press.

Lily Difrank

‘On Friday January 20, 2017, many Ann Richards students participated in protests against Donald Trump being inaugurated. These protests were a Blackout Day and a walk out. Many other schools around the U.S. also participated in these acts and others of civil disobedience. The faculty members respected students rights to participate in both forms of civil disobedience while also doing their job. “It’s to show that we feel voiceless, and to show that… we are in mourning of our country.” Frida Capitán-Parra (8), who helped plan the Blackout, said.

 

“I think it was a nice and peaceful way for you to show your disappointment, and maybe feelings of the day,” Ms. Williams said. The faculty members around the school kindly told students that it was fine that they were participating in Blackout Day, but to grab a demerit on their way to class. Throughout the day students wearing black could be seen everywhere.

 

“I feel like kind of proud of myself because… I put a lot of thought into what I was going to say, and to help kind of convince people, and relate to people… so they feel like they want to be part of the cause,” Kaia Newton (8) said.”I’m happy that the planning paid off.”

 

Newton is one of the students who planned Blackout Day, alongside Capitán-Parra. Newton and Capitán-Parra were both very pleased that so many people, including staff, decided to protest and show their opinion alongside them.

 

Newton and Capitán-Parra have been planning this day since the election on November 8th. Before presenting to administration, they made scripts and power points to make sure they were getting their point across. The administration however did not approve it, because they thought it would be distracting for learning.

 

“I also believe that as young people, it’s really hard to get your voice heard, and so I want to respect that that’s what a lot of our girls want to do, and I respect that, we absolutely respect that,” Tatiana Wiersema, a middle school administrator, said. Administration told Newton and Capitán-Parra that they could wear sunglasses as a compromise. The two then started to pitch their ideas to other groups around ARS, including student council and the eighth grade class. Newton and Capitán-Parra finally established that they were not going to get administrator support on their protest, so they decided to print out 600 notes to pass out around school, posted what they wanted to do on social media, and told people in each grade level to try to get their friends to participate. “It wasn’t too difficult because I feel really passionate about these things,” Newton said.
After many weeks of planning, Blackout Day came to be on Inauguration Day, January 20th. Many ARS students from all grade levels came together to show how they felt about the result, and their opinions about what was happening on this day in history. “I’m standing in solitary with my LGBTQ brothers and sisters that need support right now, it shows power that we’re standing together,” one participant, Emi Garza (10) said.