By Laura Le, Business Manager & Jasmine Pham, Staff Writer
This morning, approximately 200 students from Ocean View High School (OVHS) left their third period classes after the morning announcements to join a walkout against President Trump’s announcement to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
DACA is a program that was created by former President Obama to provide assistance to eligible undocumented immigrants who came to America at a young age. Its purpose is to help the DREAMers avoid deportation as well as obtaining a working permit; however, two days ago, President Trump announced that he would be putting a gradual end to the program.
This past Tuesday, Ethan Vella (‘18) posted to his Snapchat Story and prompted his fellow peers to come out and participate in the walkout to show their support for the DACA program. In his post, he encouraged others to make signs, spread the word and make a statement.
“I planned the walkout because I felt like we, as a school, needed to voice our opinions of what we think is and isn’t right. It’s very significant to me because DACA and the Dream Act affect so many people here at OVHS. One of the inspirations that led me to plan and create this event is that the fact that the DACA Dreamer population at OV and in California is so high, I felt like I needed to do something to protect my fellow classmates,” said Vella. “Just because it’s not happening to you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use your voice.”
The Huntington Beach Police Department and school administration were informed of Ethan Vella’s (‘18) plan to organize a walkout following President Trump’s decision. The walkout took place in front of the school on Warner Ave. and Gothard St.
“My first initial reaction when I saw the mass amount of people who would be participating was just pure shock. I kind of broke down and did cry tears of joy,” said Vella.
Kristian Morgan (’18) decided to show his support for DACA because of the time he’s spent at Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center OC, where he works with a recipient of DACA.
“Participating made me feel ecstatic and energized. I brought poster paper and makers so that those with no posters could make some. Hearing the calls and responses from my fellow students made my heart warmed and made me emotional. It was extremely empowering,” said Morgan.
Instead of staying in class, Jennifer Nguyen (‘18) made the decision to participate because she felt like it was the right thing to do. “Ocean View students come from different walks of life made up of so many different cultures, backgrounds, and stories. We thrive on diversity and individualism. So of course, I do know of Dreamers, although I don’t necessarily have close relationships with them,” said Nguyen.
Although teachers weren’t legally allowed to express their support or opposition to the walkout, Cavin Le (‘18) said his teacher was understanding regarding his choice to walk. By taking a part in the walkout, Le felt like he had a voice. “The cars that were honking and letting us know they gave support made me feel like I’m not alone,” said Le.
“It’s so important that we held our protest today. Everything we are fighting for is important and needs to be noticed. Knowledge is power. Together, we are united in our desire to better ourselves and take advantage of our situations and opportunities,” said Morgan.