For many students across the nation, Tuesday was the first day of the 2017-2018 school year. Traditionally, it is a day to meet teachers, adjust to a new schedule and prepare for the lessons to come. In many schools yesterday, thousands of American students — and future voters — made a clear statement in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals measure that Donald Trump axed earlier in the week. In doing so, the students became the teachers.
With far too much glee in his eye, and already advocating a heightened program of civil forfeitures, Attorney General Jeff Sessions formally announced Trump’s termination of DACA during a Tuesday morning press conference. Whether Sessions was thinking of all the property he could seize by arresting and deporting the nearly one million DACA recipients is open to speculation. Our guess is the sparkle in his eye had something to do with reaping monetary rewards for the Injustice Department and his boss.
Once Sessions confirmed that the Justice Department was no longer an independent branch of the federal government and that the Trump regime would enforce mass deportations; break up stable and productive American families; and continue to spread Trump’s core messages of racism and hate, something refreshing happened.
At schools across the country, America’s next generation of leaders, innovators, caregivers, and dreamers walked out of their classes.
In Denver, high school students exited their schools and marched in protest over the DACA decision. Students at two schools in the Tucson Unified School District walked out of classes and gathered with university students at a protest on the University of Arizona Mall. Similar walkouts happened in Boulder, Phoenix, Albuquerque and other schools across the nation in a growing wave of intelligent and passionate dissent against Trump and his anti-Obama agenda.
The brave kids of America walked out Tuesday afternoon, as President Barack Obama, whose administration introduced DACA to the nation as a stopgap to protect children and families, called Trump’s action “contrary to our spirit & [sic] common sense.” He said rescinding DACA protections was “cruel” and “self-defeating” for the nation. His message came as welcome support in defense of Dreamers everywhere and surely inspired some of the students marching today who represent the purest spirits of the country.
As America’s future dreamers took to the streets, the DACA controversy is yet another wedge that Trump has driven painfully into the heart of the nation — dividing friends, families, and strangers. The students who left classes yesterday did not sit for lessons or for the propaganda from the Trump White House. Instead, they stood with their own lesson for America: a lesson in civics, pride, humanity, and love.
The students who walked out of classes demonstrated that they understand right from wrong; the issues facing our democracy; the processes of government; and most importantly, the power of the people in their right to assemble and protest. They marched in unity for a cause, which is the most powerful movement in America and can have the strength of a tidal wave no matter what age its constituents.
While they may not have enumerated the wrongs being committed by Trump and his cronies, when future voters gather, their voices do not always have to speak in specifics. Already on the ropes, Republicans must acknowledge the increasing unhappiness with the GOP and see thousands of students condemning the actions of the party’s lunatic leader as a bad omen for years to come. Whether the student protests gather steam, or remain as a one-time statement, it tells America that the future is watching…and it is not happy.