FORT WORTH, Texas -- A day after President Trump's decision to end the DACA program, Fort Worth students staged a walkout to protest what many said was a decision that will hurt their families.
Hundreds of students left campuses and converged on downtown Fort Worth, where they first gathered in Sundance Square before moving to the Tarrant County Courthouse at the request of authorities. The protest began around 11 a.m. and steadily grew, with a line of young people stretching around the courthouse sidewalk, carrying signs.
"If we want change to actually be made in this country, it starts with the youth. It starts with us," said Papi Salgado.
Salgado graduated from Fort Worth ISD's Paschal High School and is now attending community college in Fort Worth. She said that she is an American citizen, but her older sister relies on DACA to avoid the threat of deportation.
"I talked to her yesterday, and she was crying and she was devastated," Salgado said. "She told me that all her dreams were thrown in the trash now."
Fort Worth ISD's students are 62 percent Hispanic. The school district said they encouraged students to stay in the classroom today, but for those that chose to walk out, some teachers went along to ensure their safety. The district said that at least some of the students protesting were doing so on their lunch break, so they were not absent from classes.
Fort Worth Police had an increased presence downtown with officers on bicycle and foot patrol, asking the protesters to stay off streets. The protesters ended their demonstration at 12:30 p.m.