Font cover of new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center
Since wondering “What do we tell the children?” in the aftermath of the 2016 election, much has been written about the sharp increase in bias incidents. In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported 867 hate incidents in just the first ten days after the 2016 election, of which 183 took place in schools. Earlier this year, this civil rights organization published a report on the deleterious effect of the open bias and bigotry that characterized much of the campaign; the results of which have been summarized in this space.
Some 10,000 people submitted more than 25,000 comments in this follow-up survey. Most shocking is that many teachers and other educational professionals who participated in the November 14 survey expressed the observation “The ugliness is new,” noting that they have not heard these statements of bigotry earlier in their careers. Hateful and hurtful words have accompanied Nazi salutes and swastikas, and Confederate flags, also reported in Education Week and the Huffington Post. (Colleges are also seeing an uptick in bias incidents, raising concern, especially among Jewish students.) The climate of fear has been affecting teachers and students alike.
Recommendations, with links, are given at the end of the report; they include the following:
- Administrators should communicate their school’s commitment to acceptance, inclusion, and safety.
- Ensure students undergoing trauma (eight in ten students from marginalized groups) have the support they need.
- Enforce anti-bullying strategies.
- “Encourage courage,” urging all members of the school community to speak up and speak out against hate. In other words, “Neutrality won’t work.”
- Prepare and know how to respond to a crisis.
A photo at the end shows a child holding a hand-written sign reading, “Dear Donald Trump, Please let Mexicans stay here because they may be our parents.”
“We Need to Talk” – Post-election support and resources for educators and parents.
Actor and writer George Takei pleaded, “They interned my family. Please don’t let them do it to Muslims.”
Is this your America, asks a Washington Post reporter. “If you have never faced discrimination, you don’t get my fear of Trump.”
Comedian Sarah Silverman tells why learning to empathize is critical to our future.
Jonathan Kozol speaks out: “I fight back.”
The City of San Francisco passed a resolution to stand up for all citizens and resist any Trump Administration threats.
A recent NPR piece reports on the problems and challenges of media literacy of students.
“America is worth it, our children are worth it, believe in our country, fight for our values, and never ever give up.”
– Hillary Clinton