100 Ridgeview HS students stage walkout over DeVos

Some upset by new education secty; others disagree

Ridgeview student protest DeVos

REDMOND, Ore. - Close to 100 students shook up third period at Ridgeview High School in Redmond Wednesday morning by staging a walkout.

"We're doing this to protest someone who's unqualified for her position,” said senior class president and organizer Trey Hartford, referring to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

About 100 students peacefully protested against her confirmation by walking out of their classes at 10:15 a.m.. Some said they were concerned about their future.

"One thing I fear is student loans will be much higher, or college will be almost inaccessible to pay for, because she's also running the loan program that they do,” said senior Delos Erickson.

Hartford said they are not attacking DeVos personally, but cannot stand behind her comments.

"She's talking about putting guns in teacher’s hands in the classroom. I mean, I don't necessarily support that,” he said.

But some other students said the demonstration was not an effective way to get a point across.

"It's kind of pointless in a sense, because they're out here to make a difference to get the word out that they want their education, and they're skipping class to do so,” said senior Chris Ferrara.

Despite their differences, students said there was also unity.

"We had a lot of people come out and support the cause," Hartford said. "We had a lot of right-wing students that are participating just because of the fact that she is so unqualified for her position.”.

The walkout was not a surprise to staff. Redmond School District officials sent out a letter saying they recognize the right of students to demonstrate, but asked that they act respectfully and not disrupt the education of others.

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