By now, everyone and their mother has weighed in on the US election, especially with the highly contentious candidates up to bat.
In the wake of such a tumultuous political landscape, Teaching Tolerance decided to look to the opinions of some of America's littlest people ...children.
At a conference, US teachers were asked "How have you seen the rhetoric of this years presidential campaign affect your students? Your school?"
The results were more horrifying than imagined. Below are 25 answers from a wide variety of teachers. If you would like to see more, you can check out the full survey here.
1/33. "I have many immigrant students who are constantly in fear of their parents being deported."
2/33. "Students asked me why politicians can yell at each other like that."
3/33. In the past two days there has been a group of 8th grade boys coming to school with Trump-emblazoned t-shirts, red-white-and-blue plastic leis, and other "patriotic" decorations that are related to this Trump support. These are popular boys, and the group is growing. There are plenty of teachers who are saying to them how much they, too, like Trump. I am appalled. I demanded to know why these teachers were telling students that they liked Trump, but the only person who could name a reason said, "I don't think illegal immigrants should be in our country." I responded, "Oh, so you think a nationalist, exclusionary, hateful rhetoric-spouting millionaire bad boy is going to help our country?" She said, "You know what I mean about immigrants." I said, "No--I don't know what you mean."
4/33. "We ran a mock primary in our school and the studentsreally rose to the occasion. They took on the roles andput up the posters and made announcements andspeeches and just generally worked hard to geteveryone in school to get excited about the primary.They learned about caucuses and primaries throughcreating them in our school. Although I was sorry tosee the level of support for Trump amongst some ofour student body, mostly he was seen as an"entertainment" candidate, like a reality TV host, not asa true political candidate. He won the republican voteby 1 point over Cruz. Sanders won the democratic voteby a landslide over Clinton. I think the primary hasenergized our students to consider themselves aspolitically motivated, rather than apathetic."
5/33. "Kids are asking frightened questions, rather thanpositive ones."
6/33. "My fourth graders are having a difficult timeunderstanding why Donald Trump is using such hatefuland inflammatory rhetoric. One of my students who isMuslim is worried that he will have to wear a microchipidentifying him as Muslim."
7/33. "While some of my students have been able to look at the campaign critically, some have said things about the campaign simply to be inflammatory. Others think the whole thing is a farce that won't affect them. One male student said, "Well, if Bernie isn't the candidate, then I want Trump to win. It'll be funny." At the same time, some students have raised concerns over how our country could be viewed or treated after the election, depending on the outcome, and others have said they are worried about themselves, their families, and/or their friends."
Continue to the next page to see more of what teacher's had to say...
8/33. "Students are mostly curious about the way I will vote.Many of them are against Trump as he is directlyinsulting them."
9/33. "They seem to be more afraid of people who aredifferent from them. They seem to be angry. It seemsas if they are echoing the rhetoric of their parents'candidates."
10/33. "Students from families supporting Republican candidates, especially (but not limited to) Trump, have been much more vocal about their distrust of Muslims and President Obama."
11/33. "So many of my students have begun to show hatredtowards refugees, low-income and poverty citizens, andthere has been an increase in religious bias. Many aretaking the anger and hate-filled speeches of thecandidates to heart and are projecting the messagesonto students they feel fit the stereotypes in thespeeches."
12/33. "Students agree with the fact that immigrants are guttingUSA, some of them don't but most of them do."
13/33. "I feel students definitely seem more involved inpromoting the ideologies express by some candidates.Other students, especially minority, seem to beextremely concerned with what will happen to them ifcertain candidate wins the election. Never before had Iwitnessed such uncertainty by my students or peers."
14/33. "There has been no change here that I can see."
15/33. "It is very hard to explain to students why grownups areacting like children and saying hurtful things to eachother and about groups of other people."
Continue to the next page for more...
16/33. I teach elementary students and a few have becomevery vocal in expressing intolerance.
17/33. I have noticed that many of our students, as young as 1st grade, are asking questions about what may happen to their family members that are here without the proper documentation. The vast majority of our students were born in the USA. Even with their USA citizenship intact, they continue to share some misconceptions of what will happen to them and their citizenship if Donald Trump is elected. These situations have led to various conversations to clarify these misconceptions.
18/33. We all find it repulsive.
19/33. "The language is a return to isolationism and a promotion of racism that hasn't been seen since the 1920's!"
20/33. The presidential campaign will focus its rhetoric onissues of our nation after the major political partieschoose their platform and candidates. This partybehavior has been horrible to watch and listen to.However, I believe it presents a lesson for our studentsabout how to not conduct ourselves.
21/33. They are very scared by some of what they hear. Theintolerant comments are affecting those students ofcolor and they hear and see the lack of diversity in thecandidates. They are making fun of candidates andcalling them names- as they see them do on TV.
22/33. They believe Trump...how.
23/33. My students are from primarily low-income families.However, because Donald Trump is known for hismoney, they want to talk about how it would be greatto have a "rich" president.
Continue to the next page to read more comments from teachers about how elections affect their school.
24/33. "My kids wrote essays either supporting or notsupporting political candidates for this election. I hadan overwhelming number of students write inopposition to Donald Trump and cited his rhetoric asinflammatory and racist."
25/33. "This election cycle has become more than a joke. My immigrant students, illegal and legal, are asking questions that tell me they are scared. The Republican rhetoric about walls and "keeping them out" is frightening. The lack of tolerance is appalling!"
26/33. "They're scared as to what might happen to them nextyear, some of my students have told me that they'veexperienced hateful people outside of school (in thecommunity and at their jobs)."
27/33. "Increased worry that their parents will be deported."
28/33. Students at my school say hurtful things sometimesabout minority groups (African Americans, people ofalternative sexual orientations, Muslims, etc.). Beforethe campaign, when they said hurtful or disrespectfulthings and I called them out on it, they would stop andnothing else would be said during that class period.Today, when such things are said, they question mewhy I think it is not appropriate to say when theirparents and the future president of this country issaying it (their opinion not mine). I don't know what tosay to these comments other than that in my classroomsuch things are not going to be tolerated and if theycontinue they are going to be sent to the office.
29/33. Definitely. A lot of our students from historicallymarginalized identities (e.g., Muslim, people of color,and LGBTQ+-identified folks) are truly scared fortheir lives if Trump were elected.
30/33. One student asked if this was how Germany electedAdolf Hitler.
31/33. The issue of behavior modeling is a problem. Studentsare asked to be respectful, but are noticing the lack ofrespect that exists in the "adult world" as a result of thecampaign and simply think rules of respect are notnecessary beyond school.
32/33. Some students are enjoying the tendency of Trump to"speak his mind" and admire him for it. When I havepointed out the dangerous, obnoxious behaviortowards other than white males, they think it is funny.
33. I have a few avid Trump fans, especially young men,who appear to be becoming more and more verballyabusive to others who disagree with them.
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