Pre-Inauguration Citywide Action: We #SchoolTrump

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For immediate release
Jan. 19, 2017
Media Contact:
Anna Bakalis
UTLA Communications Director

10,000 protest, send tweets @realDonaldTrump against hate, anti-immigrant policies, privatization of public education

 LOS ANGELES – Throngs of parents, students, educators and community members throughout LAUSD took to Twitter and the streets today to shield their schools from racism, privatization, anti-immigrant rhetoric and discriminatory policies from the incoming Trump administration. On the day before Trump’s inauguration, an estimated 10,000 people participated at more than 400 schools districtwide from 7:30-8:30 AM.
At Grand View Elementary, more than 300 parents, students and educators attended the action, which included a march through the neighborhood, while singing "This Land Is Your Land" and "We Shall Overcome.” Speakers included LAUSD School Board President Steve Zimmer, National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, California Teachers Association President Eric Heins, United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl and parents.
By 3 pm, more than 2,300 tweets with the hashtag #SchoolTrump had been tweeted @realDonaldTrump. To review the #SchoolTrump Tweetstorm, which continued through the afternoon, click here.
On the oversized letter to Trump at Second Street Elementary School, students wrote:
“My name is Amanda, and my life matters”
“Better education… Not deportation”
“Why do you want to take my mom?”
Sharon Savene, a parent at Grand View, addressed the crowd: “Our kids need nurses at this school, our kids need counselors at this school, our kids need janitorial and custodial staff at this school, they need teachers at this school and they need teaching assistants at this school. We don’t need any more choice. We need to invest in the schools that we have,” referring to the proliferation of unregulated charter schools.
In the early morning rain, demonstrators marched with oversized signs in the shape of shields with phrases like “Shield Against Immigrant Detention” and “Shield Against Trump/DeVos/Broad/Walmart.” The actions support the fight to protect schools from privatization and union busting as well as to create safe spaces for immigrants, women and minorities. The LA action was amplified by events in other cities, as part of a national day of action, coordinated with the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools.
“We are here today for a simple reason,” said Alex-Caputo-Pearl, President of United Teachers Los Angeles. “We are here to stand up against anti-immigrant policies, against hate-filled rhetoric and we are going to stand with parents, with students, against federal cuts to education budgets, and we are going to stand against the privatization of our public school system.”
A Tweetstorm gathered throughout the morning, as thousands of messages were written to president-elect Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on oversized letters as well as to his Twitter account. Some examples:
KoreenieBobeenie1965 ‏‪@KBobeenie1965
We will protect each other from bigotry, hate crimes, mass deportations & privatization ‪@realDonaldTrump‪@UTLAnow‪#SchoolTrump
Jenise Calasanti ‏‪@debboamerik
‪@realDonaldTrump‪ A lot of kids were afraid to go to school after the election. Educators soothe and protect our children. #SchoolTrump
Advancement Project ‏‪@AP_California
Advancement Project Retweeted Dana Goldstein
Today we ‪#SchoolTrump on what our schools really need: resources & support, not privatization & union busting ‪@realDonaldTrump‪@UTLANow
The protests took place one day after a Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of Education nominee and billionaire privatizer Betsy DeVos. DeVos has never attended a public school, nor taught at one, and has worked the last two decades to defund and dismantle public education in her home state of Michigan. DeVos has spent millions in state races on legislators who are elected and use public dollars to fund the proliferation of for-profit, unregulated charter schools and voucher programs, which have proven to be disastrous for students, especially in Detroit. The Broad and Walton foundations have bankrolled DeVos’ privatization efforts, and both Broad and DeVos collaborated in the collapse of the Michigan and Louisiana public school systems.
“Privatization of our public schools segregates our communities, divides neighborhoods and leaves out our most vulnerable students,” said Alex Caputo-Pearl. “We must reinvest in public education, and fight the billionaire privatizers, including Republicans like DeVos and Democrats like Broad, who will dismantle it, piece by piece, and state by state.”
The following are community organizations and unions that attended or supported the action:
ACCE, Advancement Project, AFT 1521, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA, CARECEN, CHIRLA, CLUE, Community Coalition, Inner City Struggle, LAANE, One LA-IAF, Reclaim Our Schools Los Angeles, SEIU 99, Southern Christian Leadership Conference Los Angeles, UNITE HERE and Youth Justice Coalition.




On January 19th, the day before the presidential inauguration, we will stand up for our values as public school educators with actions at school sites citywide. We will show that educators are united with our students and our communities against Trump’s racially charged and anti-immigrant proposals and that we will continue to fight attempts to privatize public education. 

Join tens of thousands of students, parents, educators, school staff, and community members in morning school site actions where we will hold picket lines and rallies with “shields” against the attacks that our students and our schools face and join a mass Tweetstorm against trump by sending personal messages written on an oversized letter from each school to him via Twitter with the tag #schooltrump to @realDonaldTrump.
An action like this, in a city as large as LA, and coordinated nationally, will get major news but most importantly it will demonstrate to our students that we support them and it will send a message to elected leaders that we are prepared to fight for our schools and our rights.


This is an all-day event with various times before and after school depending on the school site.


It is critical that we know which schools are participating

You can sign your school up online by clicking on the button below



Action Materials

1. Chapter Meeting Agenda/Picket Checklist


2. "I'll Be There" Commitment Sheet

Please send it back to the UTLA by fax at 213.368.6256, or email to

“I’ll Be There” Commitment Sheet

3. Event Leaflets (Flyers)

  • English
View or download (color PDF)
  • Spanish
View or download (color PDF)

4. Rally Program & Agenda 


5. Social Media Guide


6. Chant Sheet


7. Jan. 19th Sign-In Sheet

Please send it back to the UTLA by fax at 213.368.6256, or email to


What: School site action & Tweetstorm

When: Thursday, January 19, 2017

Where: Citywide

Time: Before school

2017-01-19T08:00:00 2017-01-20T07:59:59 UTC Pre-Inauguration Citywide Action: We #SchoolTrump The day before the presidential inauguration, we will stand up for our values as public school educators with actions at school sites citywide. Participating School Sites Brian McNamara


Participating School Sites – View Map
Twitter Logo

The morning action will take place at hundreds of schools across LAUSD. Demonstrators will tweet @realDonaldTrump as we defend access to quality public education for ALL students. During the action, participants will march to the street holding up symbolic shields to protect our schools, students, and communities from privatization, attacks on immigrants, union-busting, and more. 

We will write about what our schools and students need to be successful, and tell Trump and his nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, what we think of their proposed policies. DeVos is tightly connected to billionaire privatizer Eli Broad and the Waltons of WalMart. We will photograph the letters and tweet them @realDonaldTrump. This action in LA will be amplified by events in other cities, as part of a national day of action, coordinated with the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools,

Hashtag: #SchoolTrump



For more information, please email Brian McNamara at or call 213.487.5560.


Parents & Community

For more information, please email Esperanza Martinez at or call 213.487.5560.