By Marissa Duffield
Following the election of Donald Trump, harassment in schools went up exponentially with many minority students being the victims of the election backlash. Although few schools or teachers have released information about the increase in verbal and physical abuse in schools, many teachers have filled out anonymous surveys to have their voices heard by the press.
Teachers have reported that the election results impacted the schools and students negatively over 2,500 separate times according to the schools in the survey, with there being 867 cases of hateful harassing being reported. According to surveys, the students; primarily immigrants, students of color, and LGBT+ students are being heavily targeted by the students in support of Trump. The middle and high school teachers that have filled out surveys told CNN that many of their students were told things along the lines of “Better pack your bags, you’re going to be deported,” and “Trump won, you’re going back to Mexico,”
Most people believe the reason for all of the backlash has to do with the fact that these students believe that their behaviour is socially acceptable because of the election of Donald Trump and the way he addresses minorities.
An elementary teacher in Minnesota that wished to remain unnamed reported “We have had many students fighting, especially between the Latino and African-American population, as well as many more boys feeling superior to girls. I have had one male student grab a female student’s crotch and tell her that it’s legal for him to do that to her now. One of my students from last year, who is Muslim, has not worn her hijab since the election.”
Not only has the amount of bullying increased, but also the number of fights in schools. Although the statistic of fights is unknown, many teachers reported having to break up fights between students.
Most of the information about both these issues were brought to light by a survey put out by teaching tolerance from the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Today I photographed vandalism in the boy’s bathroom that mentioned a specific black student (1 of 7 in a school of 200). It repeatedly mentioned the KKK, used the n-word and joining Jews. A student drew a swastika on my board a few days ago…,” stated a high school teacher in Oregon. These were not only crude statements, but could also be considered somewhat threatening to the students being targeted by the graffiti.
The full extent of this problem is unknown. A reason for this may be that school administrators do not want to bring bad publicity to their school. Teachers are also not legally allowed to speak about specifics. The full extent of Trump’s effect on this problem is unknow. New information is coming to light about this everyday as it continues to be a problem in schools across the country.