About 200 students gathered in Edmonds-Woodway High School’s courtyard Monday morning to focus on supporting each other in the wake of last week’s election of Donald Trump as U.S. President.
“No matter who our president is, Hillary or Donald, we are America, we are people and we make this country,” said speaker Dominique Thomas, an 18-year-old EWHS senior who serves as president of the school’s Black Student Union.
In an interview before the start of what was described as a unity rally, Thomas said the goal wasn’t to criticize Trump, whose Nov. 8 election has served as a flashpoint for demonstrations nationwide. “We wanted to make this as inclusive as we can, and we are not focusing on the person, we are focusing on the issues,” she said.
The President-Elect’s name wasn’t mentioned during rally remarks, although following Thomas’s speech the crowd formed a circle in the courtyard and began chanting “Love Trumps Hate.”
Prior to the rally, student Kellen Morse said that he believes that Trump is “a danger to America, to freedom and democracy — to me and people I care about.
“We’re the future of America literally,” said Morse, a 16-year-old junior who along with Thomas organized the event. “I’m not just going to sit there and say he’s just another president. He’s not. I can’t vote. Most people here can’t vote. Something needs to be done.”
“He’s not the entire problem,” rally co-organizer Jordan Kiel, a 16-year-old junior, said of Trump. “The problem is there’s a lot of hate instead of love. Today is a lot about love. Every person here is human and they deserve to have their ideas represented instead of being put down by a lot of people in America.”
Added 17-year-old junior Kyrsten Frost: “I’m not so worried about Trump himself. I want everyone to feel included, I want everyone to feel safe. I want there to be more love than there is right now.”
Frost later addressed students as they encircled the courtyard. “Rather than standing against whoever may run the government, we have to stand for each other and support each other — and that’s what we have to do going forward,” she said.
— Story and photos by Teresa Wippel
Related: Meadowdale High School students conducted their own demonstration on Monday. You can read more here.