SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Middle School (SOMS) students walked out of school on Friday, Jan. 20, at about 12:30 p.m. in protest of the Presidential inauguration of Donald Trump.
According to reports, SOMS students began protesting inside the halls at about 12:15 p.m., with the walkout happening shortly afterwards. The protest, which was student-led and organized, was largely organized by eighth grader Harley Cenedella.
SOMS students left the building chanting "love not hate" and met at the front of the school building where they continued with "we will overcome."
Eighth grade student Alice Linkh explained, "we're all out here to speak out against Trump, who is not going to be the greatest for our country. He wants to do some things that won't be good for a lot of people, especially LGBTQ people. We need to have our voices heard." Linkh added that she is getting up at 4 a.m. to attend the Woman's March on Washington on Saturday.
Eighth-grader Andrea R. said she participated because "Trump becoming President is not in the best interest for our country and I think children's views and voices should be noticed."
SOMS students who participated in the protest returned to classes at about 2:15 p.m.
Students at Columbia High School (CHS) also protested the inauguration of Donald Trump on Friday, with a walkout at about 11 a.m., followed by a march to Maplewood Town Hall, where students gave speeches before returning to school, according to student reports.