A Southern Poverty Law Center survey of 10,000 school workers revealed a significant uptick in racial harassment and violence since the election. From the report:
-Nine out of 10 educators who responded have seen a negative impact on students’ mood and behavior following the election; most of them worry about the continuing impact for the remainder of the school year.
-Eight in 10 report heightened anxiety on the part of marginalized students, including immigrants, Muslims, African Americans and LGBT students.
-Four in 10 have heard derogatory language directed at students of color, Muslims, immigrants, and people based on gender or sexual orientation.
-Half said that students were targeting each other based on which candidate they’d supported.
-Although two-thirds report that administrators have been “responsive,” four out of 10 don’t think their schools have action plans to respond to incidents of hate and bias.
-Over 2,500 educators described specific incidents of bigotry and harassment that can be directly traced to election rhetoric. These incidents include graffiti (including swastikas), assaults on students and teachers, property damage, fights, and threats of violence.
-Because of the heightened emotion, half are hesitant to discuss the election in class. Some principals have told teachers to refrain from discussing or addressing the election in any way.
The SPLC also found that the whiter the school, the more likely it was to experience incidents of harassment—and to be governed by an administration unprepared or even unwilling to address the issue. School segregation is very much alive, and its influence is evident throughout the SPLC’s report.
It’s probably not going away, either. There’s no evidence Trump intends to moderate his racist rhetoric now that he’s won the election. Meanwhile, his pick for Education Secretary supports ed policies that will make our schools even more segregated than they are right now.
The SPLC’s report isn’t just a status update. It’s a look at the future.