Rock Ridge High School students are among those planning a walkout Feb. 10 to protest Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from seven predominately Muslim countries. As student across the county organize similar walkouts near the end of the school day, Rock Ridge students involved in the protest will leave school at 2:25 p.m. then congregate at the football stadium before heading to the front of the building. They plan to leave class for the entirety of their eighth block, which is a free period for students.
Walkout co-organizer Rajul Vadera, an 11th grader at Rock Ridge, said she wasn’t sure how many people would participate but was optimistic about the turnout. She said it had been the main topic of discussion at the Ashburn school.
“We just want to voice our opinion,” Vadera said.
Vadera said she had spoken with Rock Ridge principal John Duellman and let him know the plans. She said participating students will face discipline for skipping class.
Loudoun County Public School administrators have been preparing for the walkouts, according to Public Information Officer Wayde Byard. Led by Broad Run student Rida Ali, organizers are using it as a show of support for immigrants, especially those impacted by the travel ban.
Loudoun County’s public school enrollment is 50 percent non-white, and the county has one of the nation’s largest Muslim populations. Protesters have organized several events in Loudoun since the travel ban, including at Dulles International Airport and the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) center.