Friday, August 7, 2020
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School leaders condemn racist bias & violence

Nine groups of national school leaders, troubled by a school climate since the election of Donald Trump that is increasingly filled with fear on the part of immigrant students, hateful words and actions, and student protests, have joined forces to issue a call to action for the nation’s schools.

“We come together as national education organizations in the wake of the troubling rash of reports of bias incidents and violence occurring in schools across the nation in recent days,” the groups said in a statement.

“As learning communities, schools and school systems are responsible for providing all students with a physically and emotionally safe learning environment. This principle is the foundation of academic achievement, healthy individual development, and civic engagement. Violence, intimidation, and purposefully harmful expressions of bias undercut the core mission of schools and have no place in our school communities.”

The groups include:

  • AASA, the School Superintendents Association
  • American School Counselor Association
  • GLSEN, an LBGT student group
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • National PTA
  • National School Boards Association
  • National Association of School Psychologists
  • National Association of Independent Schools

It is, I believe, this violence and intimidation of students that should be the target of tweets from President-elect Trump, not a Broadway cast, especially when that cast makes a respectful plea to the vice president-elect to remember all Americans in the incoming administration.

For his part, Mr Trump completely disavowed the hate he has been made aware of, especially that coming from a white supremacist group that met in Washington on Saturday, the New York Times reports.

Ms Davis is a reporter who covers the White House for the New York Times, and Mr Trump was at an on-the-record interview Tuesday at the paper’s offices.

Despite his disavowal of violence in his name and the type of white supremacist sentiment his campaign may have inspired, it seems he can’t escape it.

Looking at some research people have been conducting about the election—mathematicians will pour over data like this for decades to come, believe me—we find that people who express a high degree of resentment for other races were 44 percent more likely to vote for Mr Trump than those who express a low degree of racial resentment, whereas economically pessimistic people voted for Mr Trump at about the same rate as economically optimistic people.

The old adage, then, “It’s the economy, stupid,” doesn’t seem to apply to people who tended to vote for Mr Trump, in the general sense. But alas, people are much more than an identity or a demographic, and the economy is where Mr Trump says he would like to focus his initial efforts. We have to allow him that freedom.

But he would be wise, I think, to take a brief moment and acknowledge the collective statement from these school leadership groups and express more than a simple desire that people across America end the hate his campaign so thoroughly encouraged.

Getting elected president in this country is a far cry from “being” the president; the time for the latter will soon be upon us, and in any event, the time for the former is past. So let’s everyone stop hating on Trump supporters and stop bullying all people. Bullying is not free speech.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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