As a large number of Americans mourn for the election of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. president, one particular group of people is specifically worried about the state of affairs.
School teachers are worried that as students hear Trump’s hateful comments on television, they tend to repeat the same words in class and mirror the sentiments. This results in a rise in hate and bullying.
Julie Rine, who has been a teacher for 20 years, claimed the day after Trump’s victory has been the toughest in her life.
During the presidential race, she saw students talk about “building a wall” to their Mexican classmates and repeat the business mogul’s racist comments to classmates from the minority communities. Now, with him being the next president of the U.S., she is afraid of what the future may look like.
“If we are already fighting the hurtful effect of comments when kids repeat what Trump has said in the campaign, I can’t even fathom what we will be fighting after four years of his hateful rhetoric,” Rine said.
The horror doesn’t end here.
These educators have also seen students being called “ignorant” for supporting Hillary Clinton with many suffering from mental health issues during the presidential race. Now, Trump’s win will mean students belonging to minority groups will be more afraid to voice their opinion and speak out in class due to the fear of being called out.
“If someone has a question, they feel like they can’t even ask. I can see that. They feel like they’re going to get shut down by someone shouting ‘Hillary for handcuffs.’ There was talk of assassination attempts from students supporting both Clinton and Trump,” said a teacher who only wished to be known as Katelyn.
Educators were particularly concerned about the fact that over the years, despite having witnessed and taught students about elections, they never had to spend so much time teaching kids to be respectful of one another regardless of whom they supported.
“We’ve taught the election before and had great conversations around the issues. This year, [I] spent a lot more time talking about some of the rhetoric and the idea that we need to be able to treat each other with respect regardless of differences,” one teacher said.
Now Trump’s election to the Oval Office just makes bullies feel more powerful and validates their nasty behavior. Teachers are concerned about what their classrooms will look like over the next four years, and hope that they will be able to focus on effective learning.