More than 2,000 teachers participated in the survey titled “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on our Nation’s Schools,” conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center. According to the Post, the educators’ responses revealed two trends: bullying of minority students and fear among bullying targets about what would happen if Trump wins the White House.
Interestingly, the survey did not ask about a specific candidate, the Huffington Post noted. The teachers identified Trump in more than 1,000 comments.
A middle school teacher wrote this comment, according to the Post: “My students are terrified of Donald Trump. They think that if he’s elected, all black people will get sent back to Africa.”
Here’s what a third grade teacher said, via the Huffington Post:
“There is a boy from Mexico, who is a citizen, who is terrified that the country will deport him if Trump wins. He is also scared that kids and grown-ups can and will hurt him.”
More than one-third of the respondents said they’ve observed a rise in anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim attitudes. And two-thirds stated that fear is on the rise among students who are immigrants or the children of immigrants.
Students are also imitating the uncivilized discourse of presidential candidates.
Here’s what one teacher said, via the Post: “There’s a sense that if someone doesn’t agree with you, it’s acceptable (even encouraged) to have hatred and anger towards them.”
All this bad behavior has made 40 percent of the teachers reluctant to discuss the presidential primaries with students.
The U.S. Department of Education offers these suggestions on stopping bullying in the classroom:
- Create a Safe and Supportive Environment: Establish a culture of inclusion and respect that welcomes all students Monitor bullying “hot spots” in and around the building. Set a tone of respect in the classroom.
- Manage Classrooms to Prevent Bullying: Develop rules with students so they set their own climate of respect and responsibility, and reinforce the rules by making expectations clear and keeping requests simple, direct and specific.
- Stop Bullying on the Spot: Intervene immediately. It’s OK to get another adult to help. Don’t talk to the kids involved together, only separately, and don’t make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.
- Find Out What Happened: Get the facts, keep all the children involved separate, listen without blaming and don’t call the act “bullying” while you are trying to understand what happened.
- Support the Kids Involved: All kids involved in bullying—whether they are bullied, bully others, or see bullying—can be affected. It is important to support all kids involved to make sure the bullying doesn’t continue and effects can be minimized.