News

Menlo-Atherton High School students stage large anti-Trump protest march

 

By Dave Boyce and Kate Bradshaw | Almanac Staff Writers

A peaceful, if loud and boisterous, protest against the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States began at about 1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, when a large number of Menlo-Atherton High School students – more than 1,000, an Atherton policeman said – gathered on the school campus with their signs and frustrations over Mr. Trump's positions.

The students left the campus, some marching on Middlefield Road, Oak Grove Avenue, and other streets in a wide, lengthy and apparently impromptu circuit that led back to M-A, at least for some.

A smaller group of students marched to Palo Alto, up University Avenue and then cutting back toward Willow Road, according to Menlo Park Police Department spokesperson Nicole Acker.

Around 3:15 p.m., the Menlo Park Police Department sent out an advisory that 200 to 300 people were walking toward U.S. 101.

Some students gathered in the vicinity of Hamilton Avenue and Chilco Street in eastern Menlo Park, Ms. Acker said. Soon after, a group of about 40 students were reported returning to the M-A campus along Ringwood Avenue, having crossed the foot bridge over U.S. 101.

Ms. Acker said that the police department was focused on keeping the students safe and the protest was entirely peaceful.

"The roadways are clear and everyone is safe," she said.

Why they marched

A visitor sitting in front of the campus of Menlo-Atherton High School on Monday afternoon, Nov. 14, would not have seen anything obvious indicating an impending momentous event, but they would have heard something.

Cheers and the noises of an enlivened crowd arose from the direction of Ringwood Avenue. They quickly grew louder and signs appeared over the low wall that fronts the campus. Wave upon wave of students, almost running, headed north in a traffic lane on Middlefield Road, a sustained ovation on the move.

An Almanac reporter asked M-A 11th-grader Helen Chafee of Menlo Park why she was marching. "Because some very close friends could lose their civil liberties," she said. Elected leaders would "compromise the lives of those who need protection the most."

Tinka Rayner, an M-A sophomore and resident of Menlo Park, said she was marching to support people who hate Donald Trump. "I don't stand for anything he's trying to support," she said. Asked to elaborate, she cited racism and sexism.

"Trump is just going to destroy everything," said another sophomore from Menlo Park who didn't want to give his name.

Why spend money on a wall at the border with Mexico when it would be better spent on schools and bridges, asked his buddy marching with him.

None of the students interviewed for this story said they knew of any students who support Mr. Trump, but one student said those students would likely keep their views to themselves at M-A.

The Menlo Park Police Department deployed about 12 officers to cover the march, one officer told the Almanac. The Atherton Police Department also participated, he said.

This reporter encountered three sophomores lying down near the bike bridge at Alma Street between Menlo Park and Palo Alto. They had broken off from the march and were headed back in the direction of the school.

"People were upset and they wanted to say something and they did in a good way that was peaceful," said Michael Daley of Menlo Park.

"I just don't think it was productive," said another sophomore who didn't want to give his name. They should donate to an organization that Mr. Trump "is going to de-fund," he said. "Go volunteer at Planned Parenthood, or something," he said, as they got up to leave.

Comments

46 people like this
Posted by Menlo mom
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 14, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Thank you students for sticking up for those whose civil liberties are already being infringed, and who may (will) be affected in the future!

And for keeping it peaceful.

Fund schools, bridges, healthcare, rights for every American.

Peace out.


21 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Nov 14, 2016 at 6:12 pm

I assume this occurred during class time?

You tax the working folks for better schools, choose to block their travel through town, burn up police resources and money to shadow you and hold your hand. Let's just close the school to the kids who want to protest. They can get a job. Let the kids who want an education utilize the beautiful campus that the taxpayers built for you while the protesters learn about the real world at work. Good luck with that application.


21 people like this
Posted by Jill
a resident of another community
on Nov 14, 2016 at 8:20 pm

As a Clinton voter, these kids have changed my mind. I think Trump is on to something. I wish I had voted for him.


Like this comment
Posted by @Jill
a resident of another community
on Nov 14, 2016 at 8:36 pm

And why would you have wanted to vote for Trump?

Why would you want to have a caudillo if office?


40 people like this
Posted by ProudParent
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 14, 2016 at 8:50 pm

“The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.”
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”
― Elie Wiesel


11 people like this
Posted by Menlo Mac
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Nov 14, 2016 at 8:59 pm

That is a funny looking USA flag (picture 13).

Here's another picture of the funny looking USA flags those kids were waving:
Web Link


52 people like this
Posted by Mom of kids at M-A
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 14, 2016 at 9:49 pm

Taxpayer - you could always move to a country that doesn't allow free speech if this bothers you. Has this ever happened in the history of M-A? I have no idea, but I doubt it.

This is however the first time a presidential candidate said such divisive things throughout his campaign to get votes - and if you choose to be in denial about the uptick of incidents that harm others, then so be it - but back here in reality - we have kids dealing with emboldened bullies as a result of this divisive campaign and result. So GOOD for the wonderfully hearted kids that have the courage to stand up to it and march down the street to prove it.

I'm inspired.

Thank you M-A and police for protecting them and keeping them safe. I will do more to support your endeavors. The police did a wonderful job.


43 people like this
Posted by Proud taxpayer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 14, 2016 at 9:56 pm

If you would like to read a well-written article on the purpose of this protest, you can find it here:
Web Link

Despite what the random mishmash of facts say above, there were students in the crowd who were Trump supporters but anti-hate and anti-racist who wanted to show love and support of their fellow students who are residents of this country and also proud of their heritage.

If you are concerned about how your tax dollars are being spent, you should be complimenting a huge group of teenagers expressing their First Amendment rights without any property damage; that experience would not be one they could teach in a classroom. Denying education to people who don't agree with you does not sound like America to me.


13 people like this
Posted by They Call Me Deplorable
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 14, 2016 at 11:44 pm

"None of the students interviewed for this story said they knew of any students who support Mr. Trump, but one student said those students would likely keep their views to themselves at M-A."

And why would they feel the need to keep their views to themselves? Because of intolerance. Because anyone not on the liberal-agenda bandwagon is treated with derision and contempt. Protecting civil rights? Hardly. In M-A, it's Trump supporters who "need protection the most."


30 people like this
Posted by Student
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 15, 2016 at 12:14 am

You should be proud of people who want their voices heard. Eventually those students WILL be taxpayers. They are the future. This is why people stay quiet, because theyre scared to stand up and say something. Being a bully to teenagers is such a grown up thing to do! You should feel lucky that so many people stood up and stood united. People who support Trump would likely keep it to themselves because of how united we stand. They feel scared, but that doesn't mean harm will come to them just because it's happened somewhere else. Everyone has their own views and opinions and M-A students value that, which is why Trump supporters still walked with us. #Unitedwestand.


27 people like this
Posted by Proud parent
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 15, 2016 at 7:42 am

Good for these students and the M-A community for supporting them and making sure they were safe and peaceful.

There is much more to education than just sitting in a classroom...and all of you taxpayers complaining that that HS kids across the country weren't sitting in a classroom KNOW this!


15 people like this
Posted by Meh ...
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Nov 15, 2016 at 8:33 am

"Tinka Rayner, an M-A sophomore and resident of Menlo Park, said she was marching to support people who hate Donald Trump."

Wow, too bad that they are driven by hate to do this. If it is so bad here in the USA, they should know that they have options. Waving the Mexican flag doesn't help their cause.


14 people like this
Posted by Trump. Man. Date.
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Nov 15, 2016 at 8:59 am

"Wow, too bad that they are driven by hate to do this."

Oh, c'mon now. How many Trump voters specifically expressed their hatred of Secretary Clinton, including using the 'b' word, etc..?

While most would agree this teenager is using an in-artful term, what's the excuse for the adults over the last year? I await your declaration of their deplorable behavior setting a terrible example for our youthful Americans.

Status: Trump currently behind 990,000 votes. Man, meet date.

Loser: 61,929,605
Winner?60,938,847


33 people like this
Posted by HelloHanalei
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 15, 2016 at 9:15 am

HelloHanalei is a registered user.

I am so proud of my child and all the other M-A students who staged a peaceful protest yesterday. They exercised their constitutional right to peaceful assembly, and stood in solidarity with members of their school community, and our wider community, who are in real danger of being scapegoated and oppressed under a Trump "Presidency."

Menlo Mac, kids who carried the Mexican flag did so to show support for Mexican-Americans in our country who have been demonized and threatened by Trump. They carried rainbow flags to show support for LGBTQ Americans who are in danger of having their right to marry — and who knows what other rights — stripped away.

Meh, Trump spouted hate and divisiveness throughout his campaign, and now he has made a white supremacist his chief strategist. The M-A students and others who protest him, on the other hand, are motivated by concern for their fellow Americans and fear for the lasting damage a Trump "Presidency" might do to our country.

The Russian government has now acknowledged communicating with the Trump camp during the campaign. With this confirmation that Trump's people colluded with a foreign government to influence our Presidential election, he should be under investigation, not sitting in the Oval Office with President Obama. We should ALL be in the streets protesting the Presidency being brazenly stolen out from under us.


17 people like this
Posted by Love
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Nov 15, 2016 at 9:56 am

Love Trumps Hate ;-)


3 people like this
Posted by AthertonAmerican
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Nov 15, 2016 at 11:13 am

Curious: Who would be at fault if one of these peaceful "protestors" was injured by a car while walking on the roadways and through traffic?

The Driver? School? Trump? Parents? City? Town Police dept?

I know what it's like to feel as though your vote is not heard... but then again I'm old enough to vote.


17 people like this
Posted by Meanwhile in Reality
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 15, 2016 at 11:15 am

To "They Call Me Deplorable"

First of all, I don't think you are deplorable and I have no interest in fighting with you.

I have two children that go to M-A - one participated, one did not. I asked my daughter why she didn't participate. She said that one of the students told her he was going to laugh at everyone and call them faggots for not supporting Trump. It shut her down and made her afraid because she is sensitive. She was upset for the rest of the day. I told her to not let words like that define what she does - to do what she believes in.

Meanwhile my son having heard that said he was going to punch that kid for making his sister afraid. - I encouraged him not to escalate this and he agreed that he only wanted to in theory, but wouldn't do it.

I'm just sharing my personal story with you. There were trump supporters that also marched and my son also shared that there are reasonable trump supporters that are speaking up in his class. So that opinion in the article is just one - and not the reality of the situation, as it is with most situations.

Have a great day,
Menlo Mom


7 people like this
Posted by Nice, but a little late?
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 15, 2016 at 12:48 pm

It's great that the MA student community and other groups across the nation are getting involved and voicing their opinions about issues that impact our society. I'm just wondering how many of these students were eligible to vote whether they actually voted. It all seems a bit too late to me. I'm very disappointed that Trump won, but come on, he did win fairly (as far as I know) not in a small part to incredibly lame voter turnout numbers.

All this social conscience could have been used much more effectively PRIOR to the election. Not complaining that it didn't go your way after the fact.


5 people like this
Posted by Seriously
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Nov 15, 2016 at 1:56 pm

"Status: Trump currently behind 990,000 votes. Man, meet date.

Loser: 61,929,605
Winner?60,938,847"

Seriously ...

Winner: 290
Loser: 232

If these kids don't know about our voting system, then they should stay in school and stop spreading hate.


16 people like this
Posted by ex Californian
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Nov 15, 2016 at 3:37 pm

Are you kidding me!
Who's going to lead this country in 40 years when some tough decisions have to be made? Kids who spent High School having group hugs and cry-ins. 70 years ago 18yr olds were landing on Normandy. Today they run to the Principas office because they saw the word Trump written on the sidewalk and felt scared. Far from the greatest generation. Two words for these kids and some of their parents. GROW UP.


13 people like this
Posted by to ex californian
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Nov 15, 2016 at 3:45 pm

And why were those kids landing on Normandy? To stand up to the very same kind of hate they are having to stand up to now. This isn't about Trump winning the election as much as it's about the tools used to incite the bullies - to marginalize the weak - to mock the vulnerable. You can't say "Ban all Muslims" then take it back once elected and pretend there won't be a backlash from people that won't stand for that kind of thing.

Hitler hated Jews and our 18 year olds then landed on Normandy -

It's all the same hate that needs to be stood up to. Let's hope our 18 years olds today won't have to land anywhere - especially since it appears they already won't stand for similar blanket hatred.


20 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 15, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Cutting class for one day to demonstrate is very different that make a personal commitment to serving our Nation.

I would feel much better about all of this if there was any evidence that these same students would be willing to "land on Normandy".

I am saddened by the low participation rate of this generation in military service or the Peace Corps or any other form of serious and demanding public service.


7 people like this
Posted by HelloHanalei
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 15, 2016 at 5:14 pm

HelloHanalei is a registered user.

@Seriously

"Winner: 290
Loser: 232"

The electoral college is a relic of the slave era, and has long outlived any useful function it might once have served. It needs to be abolished before 2020, to ensure the travesties of 2000 and 2016 aren't repeated.

Web Link

Hillary Clinton is projected to beat Donald Trump by 2 million votes, once all provisional and absentee ballots have been counted, and yet this racist, bigoted, misogynist with no public service experience whatsoever — whose entire life has been devoted to enriching himself at the expense of nearly everyone he's done business with, and who wasn't even aware that he would have to hire a new White House staff, much less form a government — has somehow been foisted on the American people.

He's unfit to serve, has surrounded himself with the worst kinds of far-right reactionaries, and he colluded with a foreign government to influence the election, and yet we're supposed to unite behind him as our "President?" I don't think so.

EVERY person's vote should count, and the majority of people who voted cast their vote for Secretary Clinton. She should be our President, not this embarrassing, dangerous buffoon.


7 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 15, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

hello:

everyone bitches about the electoral college after every election. They've been bitching since 1976 when I first voted. I'm sure they were bitching about it before then. The electoral college was created for a reason and to eliminate it will require a constitutional amendment. NOT going to happen. Smaller states are not going to vote counter to their interests, even if, by some miracle a constitutional amendment was passed at the federal level. So, that said, how do you propose we make the popular vote the deciding factor?


6 people like this
Posted by mt7558
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2016 at 5:04 pm

mt7558 is a registered user.

Mom of kids at M-A You may want to look at want our dear President has said during his time in office, like the Republicans can join us but they have to go to the back. Or maybe you would like to read his book, that's a real pleasant look at how he feels about his fellow citizens. I have never brought up someones skin color, I prefer to follow Dr. King and base my opinion on someones character. Obama does not nor has he ever possessed the character of someone who should lead our country. He has made to many unkempt promises and been untruthful about to many things to garner any respect.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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