After Trump election, students wonder if it's still safe to protest | KUOW News and Information

After Trump election, students wonder if it's still safe to protest

Nov 10, 2016

Seattle students brought a lot of questions and concerns to school the day after the election.

KUOW Education Reporter Ann Dornfeld visited one high school to find out how the staff is helping students make sense of the election – while still trying to process the vote themselves.


Nova is a small, alternative public high school in Seattle’s Central District.

Assistant Principal Eyva Winet says at the start of the school day, she urged staff upset about the election to put on a brave face, and focus on positive actions students can take if they need an outlet.

To teach kids about grassroots movements throughout history for inspiration.

But she says one student asked her – if they went to a protest today, would people take their picture and profile them for taking part in passive resistance?

Winet: "Which I thought was interesting, because that is not a question that has usually come up for students. Students have been pretty brave and willing to stand up and protest for things they really believe in. That they might be in danger for that participation was a very new concept that I haven’t really heard students talking about until this morning."

Winet says many students at Nova have been through a lot in life.

Many are queer or transgender, and were bullied at other schools.

There are a lot of mental health issues, struggles with drugs and alcohol, and homelessness.

Winet: "We have worked really hard to help them build hope, and to try to help them build resilience. To go out and be the change they want to see in the world. And in some ways I feel like they’re looking at us today like we lied."

Winet says for students worried about this new presidency, her message is that the president doesn’t have all of the power.

That they are powerful, too.