As Twitchy reported Tuesday, students at Emory University in Atlanta awoke one recent morning to the sight of hate speech written in sidewalk chalk all across their campus. Words like “Trump,” “Vote Trump,” and “Trump 2016” scrawled in chalk on walkways and walls led students to meet in a board room, where they opened up about how the chalk drawings had made them feel unsafe and afraid.
In light of that traumatic experience, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s education spinoff, Teaching Tolerance, has posted a survey to gather anecdotes from teachers and administrators about how the extreme rhetoric of the 2016 election has affected them and their schools. We understand a lot of our readers are snowed in this week, so why not take a minute to click the link in the tweet below and have your say?
Have you heard an increase in uncivil political discourse in your school? Has the campaign inspired copycat bullying or biased language by students or adults at your school? Anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim sentiment?
Though the survey asks if students “have expressed concern about what might happen to them or their families after the election,” it overlooks completely the rhetoric surrounding climate change, the single greatest threat to the planet according to one candidate. Being taught that their parents’ environmentally irresponsible lifestyles are destroying the very Earth itself has certainly caused a few nightmares among the Pre-K set.
That’s right: although we hear most often about college students who feel traumatized by trigger phrases like “Vote Trump,” the survey covers the gamut from Pre-K to graduate school.
Someone else — Melinda D. Anderson, founding member of EduColor, “an inclusive collective of educators, parents, students, writers and activists that cultivates and promotes diverse voices in the public education conversation and policymaking process” — has already answered this question via interviews with pre-teens, but it’s still open for consideration.
Let’s see … He’s taught them they should argue with people with whom they disagree and “get in their face,” as well as to bring a gun if they’re going to a knife fight. He’s shot a video on Air Force One promising them two free years of community college and done absolutely nothing to follow through. And as Twitchy reported earlier, President Obama on Wednesday informed young people in Buenos Aires that American students lack an understanding of international events and have little ability when it comes to foreign languages. Perhaps he’ll make fixing that disparity another number one priority in his last months in office.