The election of Donald Trump as president has left many schoolchildren hurt and scared about their futures, and in many cases they are turning to their teachers for direction and support. “I’m going to tell them that nothing is going to change overnight,” said Robert Ellis, a first-grade teacher at Washington Elementary School in Richmond, California. “I want them to feel safe. As educators, that’s what we do in difficult times.”
On Friday, social media was buzzing with student videos, including one where students in a middle school cafeteria in Michigan chanted “build that wall!” and another where students in Pennsylvania were walking down the hallway of a school carrying a Trump sign and chanting “white power!”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Friday quoted Verona High School social studies teacher Jason Knoll, a WEAC Region 6 member, as saying he was unprepared for the extent of the emotions students exhibited after the election.
“I’ve never seen so many students crying in my classroom,” Knoll said. “It was exhausting to keep everyone respectful.”
Knoll told the Journal Sentinel that students started shouting and crying after a conversation with another student who was wearing an “imprison Hillary” shirt.
“I’ve never had a more tense moment in 15 years of teaching,” Knoll said. He also said one of his Muslim students asked him privately if her family would be forced to wear identification badges.
Knoll’s comments were just part of an article that cited examples in other schools as well, including Marquette High in Milwaukee, where principal Jeff Monday alerted parents and alumni in a letter Thursday that some students had taunted or harassed Latino students.
Read the entire Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story:
A shouting match between a Donald Trump supporter and girls in favor of abortion rights. Simulations to understand popular vs. electoral votes. Rehearsals for an absurdist play about how people miss the big picture. Private confessions from non-white teenagers who feared for their families and futures.
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Reactions in schools ranged from grief to earnest debate to inflammatory comments between students.
In an article addressing these issues, NEA Today offers tips for teachers on how to reassure and comfort students who are afraid.
“The election results will have a traumatic experience on our students,” says Demetrio Gonzalez, president of United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA. “The best thing we can do today is be there for them, talk to them about their experience, and listen. Hold them and tell them we love them, and that in moments of uncertainty and fear, we have to hope and believe we will have a brighter tomorrow. ”
Read the NEA Today article:
Stories are flooding social media from parents whose children are afraid of what the 2016 presidential election results might mean. One boy with Autism was crying because he saw Trump mocking a disabled person. A teenager who is gay is afraid of what he will do to the LGBT community.
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Royal Oak Schools is “addressing” a situation in which a group of middle-school students chanted, “Build that wall”
The fallout of a divisive presidential campaign played out on social media this week, after a state senator in Maryland blasted a message from the schools chief in Baltimore County asking that educators embrace groups of minority students. The exchange started after Baltimore County School Superintendent S.
When Heather Stewart left home and headed to her third-grade classroom Wednesday morning, she wasn’t sure what to do. “There have been a handful of days in 22 years where I had no idea what to say or how to say it,” she tweeted that morning. “Today is one of them.”