Monday, June 27, 2016

‘Is the wall here yet?'

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently published a report on the “profoundly negative effect” that Donald Trump's candidacy is having on our nation's schools and children. The report was based on an online survey by Teaching Tolerance. While it notes that the survey of approximately 2,000 K-12 teachers was not scientific, it shows “a disturbing nationwide problem, one that is particularly acute in schools with high concentrations of minority children.”

The report says that more than two-thirds of the teachers reported that students, “mainly immigrants, children of immigrants and Muslims,” expressed concerns about “what might happen to them or their families after the election.”

“My students are terrified of Donald Trump,” says one teacher from a middle school with a large population of African-American Muslims. “They think that if he's elected, all black people will get sent back to Africa.”

In Tennessee, a kindergarten teacher says a Latino child — told by classmates that he will be deported and trapped behind a wall — asks every day, “Is the wall here yet?”

The other side of the coin is equally disturbing. One teacher reported that a fifth-grader told a Muslim student he was supporting Donald Trump because “he was going to kill all of the Muslims if he became president.”

In Merrillville, Indiana, students began chanting “Build a wall!” during a basketball game against a rival team made up mostly of Latino players.

At this writing, Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. There is a movement within the GOP, however, to prevent that from happening at its convention in late July. But that movement is based more on embarrassment than conviction. Despite denials by GOP leaders that Trump's behavior doesn't reflect their own views, an examination of their positions reveals otherwise — albeit in subtler form.

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