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500 Danbury High Students Stage Walkout Over End Of Trump Harassment Case

Danbury High students stage a walkout protest Thursday over a harassment incident last month in the parking lot. Photo Credit: Facebook video screenshot
A man holding a Trump sign yells at Danbury High students as they leave school on Jan. 20. Photo Credit: Twitter screenshot

DANBURY, Conn. — About 500 Danbury High students staged a peaceful walkout Thursday, with kids streaming out of classes at about 9:30 a.m. in protest of a decision not to press charges against a Trump supporter who harassed minority students at the end of the school day on Inauguration Day.   

The Danbury Police Department dispatched several officers to Danbury High for the protest, which it called "non-eventful." Principal Dan Donovan could be seen and heard in the crowd, using a blowhorn to urge students to return to class. Other students hung out and watched from open windows.  

"The protest was contained to the football field and bleachers and after about 30 minutes most of the crowd dispersed," police said in a statement. Patrol units remained at the school until about 11:45 a.m. "when things had calmed down," police said.

Related story: Police close case of Trump fan taunting Danbury students, no arrests made. 

No arrests were made, and no injuries were reported.

Students could be seen streaming onto the bleachers and the football field, some waving signs and many of them chanting expletive-laced chants about President Donald Trump. One student waved a sign saying, "Immigrants Make America Great." 

Mayor Mark Boughton, who frequently engages Danbury High students on social media said via Twitter of the protest, "Just heard about it. As long as you were peaceful."

The walkout was in protest of a decision to make no arrests in the case of a man who waved a Trump sign and shouted obscenities at Danbury High School students on Jan. 20. 

Police applied for an arrest warrant against the man, but prosecutors declined to press charges and the investigation is closed.

The incident was caught on video, posted on Twitter and went viral. According to the video and witnesses, the man was waving a Trump sign in the parking lot as school was letting out. He appeared to be drunk and was at the school to pick up a student, police said.

Related story: Intoxicated man sparked altercation, says principal.

He spoke to some students and adults in the parking lot, police said. Some students took exception to the sign, police said. A verbal exchange took place, during which the man yelled, “You’ll be out of the country, you [expletive] illegals.” 

As the man went back to the car, some youths approached him and a physical altercation took place. No one was seriously injured, police said. The man declined to press charges against the youths, police said.

Related story: Police open investigation into incident at Danbury High with man waving Trump sign.

After reviewing the videos, coupled with the man's public intoxication and demeanor, the investigating officer applied for a warrant for his arrest. But they were turned down by the courts

After the incident in January, Boughton said, "Needless to say, it is outrageous, and offensive to our entire community. Danbury is a diverse and proud community, and we will not stand idly by while our students are harassed and intimidated."

"Danbury High School prides itself on its diversity. Our students understand and respect everyone's rights to celebrate and/or protest, but had a difficult time standing by watching an adult male insult their fellow classmates," Donovan said in a statement in January. 

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