Children are already being harassed in the name of our president-elect
Graffiti with the words “go back to Africa” and “Trump train” shows the effect of Trump’s rhetoric on schools.
In the days following the election, students are already invoking the name of our president-elect while they spread white supremacist messages.
During lunch at Royal Oak Middle School in Royal Oak, Michigan, a group of students chanted “Build the wall! Build the wall!”
The superintendent said the school is addressing the issue.
“We are working with our students to help them understand the impact of their words and actions on others in their school community,” Royal Oak Schools superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin said in a statement to The Detroit News.
Shaun King, senior justice reporter for the Daily News said parents have reached out to him about incidents at York County Technical High School in York, Pennsylvania and tweeted a short video of white students chanting “white power” while holding a Trump sign.
There have also been incidents of racist graffiti invoking Trump. At Maple Grove Senior High School in Minnesota, someone left graffiti with the messages “go back to Africa” and “whites only” as well as “Trump train” and “make America great again.”
Barbara Olson, the Osseo Area Schools Community Relations Director, toldKARE 11 that the school is investigating the incident to find out who is responsible for the graffiti and promised “swift” action.
“This incident is additional evidence of the pressing need in our schools, our community and our nation to find ways to talk about race constructively and respectfully,” Olson told the television station.
Of course, Trump’s Islamophobic, xenophobic, and racist rhetoric throughout the campaign already had a corrosive effect on students’ speech prior to his election win, according to a Southern Poverty Law Center and Teaching Tolerance report.
The survey, which solicited 5,000 comments from K-12 educators, found that more than one-third of the respondents said they saw a rise in anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant sentiment. At least 1,000 comments referred to Trump as a factor for why Islamophobic and racist rhetoric made its way into class discussion. SPLC notes that it was an unscientific survey of teachers may subscribe to their releases and are more likely to be concerned about these issues.
This behavior extends to teachers as well. A teacher in Arizona, Faye Myles, was the subject of an ACLU complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education after they allegedly singled out a Muslim refugee student. Myles said that she couldn’t wait for a Trump administration so that the student could get deported. The teacher also allegedly went as far as to say the student would become a terrorist.
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