Whether it has happened on your campus or not, you have seen examples of post-election hate in schools, on college campuses, in classrooms, and on the street. Please believe that your students have too.
Before this election was even on the horizon, my classroom was never a place where students were allowed to demean each other for any way that students identified themselves. Religion, politics, race, sexuality, and everything in between are and should be respected and appreciated in my classroom. The election doesn't change that for me.
Hate exists where it is allowed to. Hate flourishes where it isn't challenged.
Kids are still kids no matter how large they are. High school seniors are still kids and some are old enough to vote. Making another student feel lesser, unwanted, or undeserving because of their identity is and always should be unacceptable. School is a place for everyone. Education is a gift that everyone should have access to. Ignorance and hate are the enemies of education which is why teachers have to be the main ones reinforcing the openness and acceptance that the United States should stand for.
Regardless of who is in charge of your city, state, or country, we as people are the ones who set the tone for what is an acceptable way to treat each other. No matter how strong the tide of hate is or becomes, our duty is to resit. Our duty is to education. Our classrooms can be the example to our kids of how the world should work. We are closer to our kids than the TV or anyone on it.
We as teachers are more powerful than many of us realize. We have to harness this power now more than ever to heal our wounds and keep moving forward. Our students deserve our strongest efforts.
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