AMBRIDGE, Pa. — Just one day after the second presidential debate, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump held a campaign rally Monday at Ambridge Area Senior High School.
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Channel 11's Amy Marcinkiewicz reported that people began lining up outside the high school at 9 a.m. Trump was scheduled to speak at 3:30 p.m. at the Wright Field House.
In light of Trump's visit, school was dismissed early. The junior high and high school dismissed at 11 a.m., and elementary schools ended their days at noon.
The district said parents could use their own judgment about keeping children home.
Wesley Wilson, who has three grandchildren in the school district, said he thought the early dismissal was a wise choice. He said he was preparing for the worst, but expected the best ahead of Trump's visit.
"It's going to be a lot of mixed emotions in that," Wilson said. "There's a lot of people that just don't care for Donald Trump and something might spill over."
Duss Avenue in front of the high school was all that separated Trump supporters and protesters, but it appeared to be enough, as the two sides remained peaceful.
“This is my high school, and the fact that Trump is coming here is unbelievable. He’s been my hero since he started this campaign,” Trump supporter Josh Miller said.
“I think it’s absolutely terrible. Ambridge High School is a school with many different races, of many different people (and) of many different religions,” Trump protester Bennett Lefebvre said.
While thousands of supporters lined the streets to see Trump in person, many were only able to get a glimpse.
Trump gave a quick wave to the crowd outside as he arrived, but many supporters were forced to watch on a screen in the parking lot, as the fire marshal turned them away to the door.
A Gold Star family who drove four hours from Ohio to Ambridge was among those denied entry despite having tickets.
“If I can’t hear the man live and they don’t respect Gold Star, then they don’t respect anybody,” Edward Mitchell said.
While supporters were excited to see the man they plan to vote for next month, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton dominated much of the conversation. Trump supporters, including Vic Schueckler, wore "Deplorable" buttons, a reference to how Clinton referred to some of Trump’s supporters last month.
“This button says, ‘Deplorable'? I’m hard of hearing. I thought she said 'adorable,’” Schueckler said.
Despite being significantly outnumbered, protesters made sure their voices were heard, too.
“He’s a bully. We teach our kids, like my 5-year-old, not to be a bully. I wanted to be here to show I’m not happy with this,” protester Connie Mabin said.
Inside the field house, Trump entered waving a Terrible Towel, and the crowd of more than 3,000 went wild.
"I will never stop fighting against the Washington establishment that has betrayed each and every one of you, betrayed the country,” Trump said.
He dug in right away, talking about the 2005 tape that came out Friday in which he made disparaging remarks about women.
“I'm not proud of everything I’ve done in life. Who among us is? Is anybody proud of every single element?” Trump said.
Fresh off Sunday night's debate, Trump also doubled down on his attacks on Clinton.
"Hillary Clinton doesn't have a clue about how to bring back jobs. I can tell you that. She doesn't have a clue,” he said.
Trump supporters told Channel 11 News that they like the way he talks about immigration, jobs and building a wall, and added that the remarks he made 11 years ago didn’t cause them to change their minds about supporting him.
Trump wrapped up his visit to Western Pennsylvania by stopping at the Eat’n Park in Moon Township.
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