While hysteria and fearmongering over the governance of a Republican president have become standard—George W. Bush was frequently referred to as “Bushitler”—present-day anti-Trumpers have taken the acrimony to another level. Sadly, public schools are on the frontlines.
Just six days after the election, the teachers union in Los Angeles supported students who skipped school to protest the “politics of fear, racism and misogyny.” “As educators, as people spending every day with students and caring about each student’s future, we believe we have a sacred role in times like these,” the union said in a statement. Sacred? Too bad the union didn’t use its newly discovered religious faith to preach to the students that if they are indeed so upset with the president-elect, they should vent their dissatisfaction after the school day or on a weekend.
San Francisco social-studies teacher Fakhra Shah claims she knows “first-hand what it’s like to be on the receiving end of anti-Muslim slurs and stereotyping. The United Educators of San Francisco posted her “Lesson Plan on the 2016 Election” on its website. “DO NOT: Tell [students] that we have LOST and that we have to accept this,” it emphatically advises teachers. “We do not have to accept ANYTHING except that we must and will fight for justice against an unjust system and against unjust people.” The anger and denial here is just the tip of the iceberg:
(I know that [students] might curse and swear, but you would too if you have suffered under the constructs of white supremacy or experienced sexism, or any isms or lack of privilege. You would especially do so if you have not yet developed all of the tools necessary to fight this oppression. It is our job to help them develop these tools, ie the language etc., Let’s not penalize and punish our youth for how they express themselves at this stage.) (Hate mongering people see this as an invitation to use profanity, keep your hate to yourselves, our students are not hateful.)
The rest of this alarming and borderline illiterate “lesson plan”—with links to left-wing magazine Mother Jones and the George Soros-funded website Democracy Now!—continues in a similar vein (and, to be appreciated fully, should be read in its entirety). While teachers are free to accept or reject the lesson plan, the idea that any teacher would use any part of it is truly alarming.
There’s more. Down the peninsula from San Francisco is Google’s home city of Mountain View. At the local high school, “Holocaust scholar” Frank Navarro compared Trump with Hitler in an attempt to show his students “that the 2016 election is a reflection of the past.” Navarro was put on paid leave on November 10, but returned to the classroom a week later. In Texas, under the watchful eye of a teacher, two tenth-grade students staged a skit featuring “The Assassination of Donald Trump.” Parents were outraged by the performance, in which one of the boys made a gunfire sound effect with his cell phone as the other boy, portraying Trump, fell to the ground in mock death. The teacher and his students were “reprimanded.”
Recall that when a second grader nibbled a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun in Maryland a couple of years ago, he was suspended for two days. Maybe had he chewed a second Pop Tart into a replica of George W. Bush, and pointed his “gun” at it, he too could have gotten away with a reprimand.
An eighth-grade student in Alabama was paddled by the assistant principal for writing “Trump” on the blackboard, allegedly because the time for discussing the election had passed. (Alabama is one of 15 states with laws allowing corporal punishment in schools.) Does anyone doubt that if the student had written “IHillary” on the board, he would have received a pat on the back instead of a beating? In Montgomery County, Maryland, anti-Trump students severely beat up a classmate for wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap. Ditching school, the irony-challenged perpetrators brandished signs reading, “Love Trumps Hate.”
To state the obvious, bullying is wrong, but it’s especially galling when bullying is condoned and encouraged by teachers. Educators owe it to their students to tell them that the election is over, and that Trump won fair and square. Marching and screaming won’t change anything. Fanning flames and ratcheting up the indoctrination of our kids is unacceptable. If they must develop post-election lesson plans, why not focus on how the Electoral College works? Or on the great tradition our country has for a peaceful transfer of power? Teachers might suggest to their students that they follow the advice of President Obama, who said that we should give Trump a chance.