Educators Share Accounts of How Trump’s Hate-Filled Campaign is Harming Their Students
CONCORD, NH, 10/03/16 – To mark the beginning of National Bullying Prevention Month, educators in New Hampshire joined colleagues across the country to discuss Donald Trump’s dangerous and hateful rhetoric, the negative effect they are witnessing in classrooms, and the terrible example that Trump is setting for children.
A recent report by the non-partisan Southern Poverty Law Center, titled “The Trump Effect,” offers hard data about the widespread trickle-down effect Donald Trump’s campaign is having in schools:
- More than two-thirds of teachers in the survey reported students – typically immigrants, children of immigrants and Muslims – have spoken about fears of what this election could mean to their lives and their family’s lives.
- More than a third reported increased anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant sentiment in schools.
New Hampshire educators explained the dire need for the next President to be someone kids can look up to, not a bully.
“Our children watch everything and what they have learned from Donald Trump is appalling. Trump has based his campaign on dividing America with every sort of bigotry that’s out there and it is showing up in our schools,” said NEA-New Hampshire President, Scott McGilvray. “Our President needs to know the power they have to shape our children’s lives for years to come and that we are stronger together. Hillary Clinton understands this.”
Manchester’s Anne McQuade explains that since Donald Trump officially became the Republican nominee for President, many of her refugee and immigrant students have come to her to ask questions that revolve around “what if’s”.
“These honest conversations were sobering and sad,” said McQuade. “My students fear they will be deported, separated from family members, and sent back to the war torn countries they left because their loved ones were in danger.”
Anne McQuade has been an ELL teacher in the city of Manchester, NH, a federally mandated refugee relocation center, for several years. She has taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels and works closely with refugee and immigrant students who have traveled to New Hampshire from all over the globe.
Each time a student brought up their fear of a Trump presidency, she tried to reassure them by saying that they were safe here in America and that the United States will protect them and their families.
“I went on to add that I would protect them when they were in school because it was my job to ensure equity and to fight discrimination and racism. These conversations turned into very teachable moments as I went on to define democracy and the fact that American public schools are the purest form of democracy since everyone is ensured an equitable education, free of bias and ridicule.”
“It is my students who have referred to Donald Trump as a bully, not me. Children are perceptive and smart. We also discussed George Washington’s statement: ‘To bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.’ How apropos for the current political arena,” continued McQuade.
When asked to recall specific conversations and questions her concerned students have asked, McQude provided the following examples:
- A student from Mexico stood in front of my desk with watery eyes and asked, “Miss, is it true if Donald Trump is elected President of the United States, my family will be kicked out of America?” and “Do you think they will take my Dad away? He brings food home and I don’t know what we will do without him.”
- An Iraqi student, who is Muslim, told me that when she got off her bus, a man yelled, “Go home terrorist. You shouldn’t be in this country.”
- A Somalian student said, “Why does Donald Trump hate all refugees and immigrants? Does he even know what is happening in my country right now?!”
- A girl from the Dominican Republic and a girl from Mexico were talking in my class and the girl from the Dominican Republic said, “I wonder if Donald Trump will kick Dominicans out?” The young lady from Mexico replied, “No, you’re safe, he doesn’t want to build a wall in your country, only mine. My abuela (grandmother) won’t be able to visit me. I’m sad!”
“These are just a few of the many statements my students have made. Students should not be thinking about being deported or discriminated against. They should be thinking about their math homework and essays,” said McQuade.
“As educators, we teach our kids that kindness, collaboration, and cooperation are important in school and in life; the same qualities that Hillary Clinton has demonstrated throughout her career,” said Karen Ladd, Sanborn Regional High School Art Teacher. “Donald Trump is teaching our children the wrong lessons: he has consistently denigrated women, wants to ban Muslims from coming to the country, and mocks people with disabilities. His hate-filled rhetoric is setting a dangerous example for our children.”
“New Hampshire’s students have been watching Mr.Trump’s bigotry and hate speech, and they know a bully when they see one,” said Maxine Mosley, Manchester School District Guidance Counselor. “We’ve seen one candidate pit Americans against each other, and the other candidate preach that our country is stronger together. The choice is clear: Hillary Clinton has dedicated her life to fighting for children and families. We need a leader as a President, not someone whose words would land them in the principal’s office.”