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The Southern Poverty Law Center has released the results of a nationwide poll they conducted in November, studying the effects of Donald Trump’s election on students, teachers, and their communities. Over 10,000 K-12 teachers, counselors and administrators responded, and here’s what they had to say:
Ninety percent of educators stated that the overall climate at school has been negatively impacted, and 80 percent said marginalized students are experiencing an increase in anxiety, specifically on how the election will affect their families.
In addition to the overall emotional climate of schools, those polled reported an increase in hate crimes. Over 2,500 educators stated that they’d witnessed types of harassment that can be “directly traced to election rhetoric.” These include graffiti, derogatory language towards students of color and immigrants, property damage, and physical fights.
“Since the election, every single secondary school in our district has had issues with racist, xenophobic or misogynistic comments cropping up,” wrote one middle-school teacher from Indiana.
“The day after the election, white students in my school walked down the halls harassing their students of color,” stated a Massachusetts middle-school teacher. “One student went around asking, ‘Are you legal?’ to each student he passed. Another student told his black classmate to ‘Go back to Haiti because this is our country now.’”
When asked how educational institutions have been reacting to these incidents, two-thirds reported that administrators had been responsive, but forty percent said they don’t think that their schools had a larger action plan in place to manage this new wave of bias.
The full, in-depth coverage of the election and its affect on the 98,454 public schools across the country can be found here.