2016 | Schools

B-CC Students Join Election Protest in D.C.

Local students walked out of lunch Tuesday to join the hundreds of young protesters in front of President-elect Donald Trump's new D.C. hotel

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Students from several Washington, D.C. area schools gather near the Capitol Tuesday during a protest against President-Elect Donald Trump that drew hundreds. Credit: Luckas Pestalozzi, a B-CC senior

Student protests against the election of President-elect Donald Trump continued in the region for a second day Tuesday.

In Bethesda, students left Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School after lunch Tuesday to attend a large protest in Washington, D.C.

Students from Woodrow Wilson High School in Northwest D.C. organized the protest that attracted hundreds of students from other schools—including Walter Johnson High School and D.C. private schools such as Edmund Burke School and The Field School, according to B-CC students who attended the protest.

“I felt like it was important that my voice was heard,” B-CC senior Tia Merotto said in a phone interview with Bethesda Beat while she was at the protest. “The atmosphere of the protest is electrifying, and I'm proud to be a part of it.”

Fellow B-CC senior Emma Urofsky estimated about 100 students left B-CC during the school’s open lunch to attend the protest in D.C. The students rode the Metro to the District to join up with the students from Wilson and other schools in front of the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, Urofsky said.

“I wanted to take advantage of being in D.C. in a time like this,” Urofsky said. “Protesting is the simplest and most effective way for students to be heard, and it feels pretty special being a part of something this significant.”

Gboyinde Onijala, an MCPS spokeswoman, said B-CC Principal Donna Redmond Jones estimated that “only a handful of students” are believed to have left during open lunch, when students are permitted to eat lunch off campus. However, the exact number won’t be determined until teachers submit attendance at the end of the day, Onijala said. She added that any student leaving during the open lunch would receive an unexcused absence.

Merotto said the issues being protested in D.C. ranged from Trump’s proposed immigration policy to his disparaging comments about women and possible changes in abortion policy.

Video clips from the protest showed students chanting “love trumps hate” as they moved from the Trump Hotel to the Lincoln Memorial, where the students had gathered around 3 p.m.

The protest comes after hundreds of students from Montgomery Blair, Northwood and Albert Einstein high schools marched miles along Silver Spring streets Monday to protest the election. On Tuesday, Walter Johnson High School Principal Jennifer Baker said in a letter to the community that some students were planning a protest at the Bethesda school, although the protest largely failed to materialize Tuesday.

Ian Rosenblum is a Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School senior and an intern at Bethesda Magazine.