Loudoun County Public School staff and high school administrators are preparing for a possible student walkout from multiple high schools on Feb. 10.
LCPS information officer Wayde Byard said administrators are monitoring up to three schools, though he acknowledges there are reports that students from more schools could take part in the walkout. He said he’s not sure how many students may be involved.
Online, Broad Run junior Rida Ali has identified herself as the leader of the walkout, which she said is to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order temporally banning travel from seven predominately Muslim countries. She said participating students plan to leave class before last block at 2:25 p.m. and protest silently for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, LCPS staff are working to maintain students safety. Byard said school security officers will designate safe areas on campus property and away from streets or roads for the protesters.
LCPS officials have been aware of the proposed walkout since early this week. In preparation, director of high school education Nereida Gonzalez-Sales has spoken via Skype teleconferences with all 15 high school principals in each of the last two days to prepare the schools and monitor their respective climates. Another proposed walkout didn’t occur as announced earlier this week.
The school system posted an acknowledgement of the proposed walkout on Feb. 9, warning that such student actions would be viewed as a disturbance of class and are against school board policies. Byard said students were alerted to the consequences, which could result in tardies, a mandatory campus clean up or participation in other school-sponsored extracurriculars.
The travel ban has been protested in nationwide, including Loudoun, home to one of the nation’s largest Muslim populations. Local protesters have focused their efforts at Dulles International Airport and through the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) center in Sterling.