SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — More than 500 elementary and middle school students participated in a march against fear Wednesday morning in San Franciso’s Mission District.
The march was organized by the school as a way to help the mostly Latino student body vocalize their anxieties about Donald Trump being elected president, according to KRON4’s Maureen Kelly.
They were chanting, “We’re not afraid.” The students of Buena Vista Horace Mann Community School marched through the Mission District shortly after the first bell rang.
The children ranged from kindergartners to eighth-graders. Some students from nearby Fairmont Elementary joined in the march as well, and since they are both Spanish-immersion schools, the signs, and the chants, came in two languages.
Those who work with the kids tell KRON4 that the idea for this march was to give the kids a way to deal with their emotions following the election of Donald Trump.
“The kids are fearful this was something that they’d been hearing for weeks. As much as we try to protect them, it’s in the media. It’s like the bogeyman all of sudden became real, and so for them, it’s real and we need to support them in a way that’s developmentally appropriate…,” said Myrna Melgar, who is with the Jamestown Community Center.
Children spread their anti-hate messages at the rally.
“My signs says, ‘deport hate.’ because we don’t want hate in our country and love wins because we need love,” Fourth-grader Sofia Avales said.
“Let everyone know that even if Donald Trump is our president, that we shouldn’t be scared,” Fourth-grader Citali Linares added. “We should be strong.”
An official with the Buena Vista Horace Mann school tells KRON4 that there is a substantial number of kids whose parents are undocumented, so the fear of deportation is very real.
And those students who don’t have that worry were there marching for their friends.
“I don’t want them to leave because I feel that they should be able to stay here because this is their home,” Fourth-grader Rosa Jackson said.
As they marched through the streets, the kids got waves and honks of support.
The demonstration lasted about an hour and a half, with the kids marching back to their classrooms after it was over.