This article follows up the multiple reports of verbal harassment in the days following the Presidential election. Donald Trump’s bigoted campaign and eventual victory has confirmed racist notions that previously wouldn’t be expressed as often and explicitly. Just to name a few examples this report covers; students in Kansas chanted, “Trump won, you’re going back to Mexico,” to students from other countries, in Oregon, a high school teacher photographed vandalism in the boys’ bathroom, which mentioned the KKK and used the n-word, and in Tennessee, a black student was blocked from entering his classroom by two white students chanting, “Trump, Trump”. Over 10,000 teachers reported incidents such as these through the Southern Poverty Law center website. There were a reported 2,500 negative incidents of bigotry and harassment that mimicked Donald Trump’s rhetoric.
However these taunts and incidents of harassment don’t come without a cost. Approximately 80 percent of educators who responded with these claims said they noticed heightened anxiety from minorities in their classrooms. One of the teachers that responded noted that in her school teachers were discouraged from speaking up about these incidents and encouraged to downplay them- leaving students who were targeted hopeless, and suicidal.
In class we’ve talked about the ramifications and cultural shifts that Donald Trump’s victory allowed for. This hyper-agression from his supporters present a real problem for students of color and the response from school administrations show that the problem has an institutionalized element to it. Rather than acknowledging a problem, the school boards thought the appropriate conduct for these situations is to turn the other way. Furthermore, creating incentive and reason for these aggressor students to conduct themselves in ways that jeopardize the mental health of other minority students.