If there ever was a doubt that President-elect Donald Trump helped racists think hatred was OK, just look at their kids. There have been multiple incidents of middle school and high school students displaying an uncaring attitude and hateful rhetoric that was taught at home and on TV by Trump during this election cycle.
At Dewitt Junior High School in DeWitt, Michigan, parents and school administrators are looking into an incident that occurred on Wednesday morning after the election. A group of White students formed a human wall and stopped students of color from going to their destination. The group of White students picked on a young Hispanic girl telling her to go back to her own country and that they were going to “make America great again.” An Asian student at the school stated that she was also singled out and told she should be deported. School officials have identified some of the students involved and have taken disciplinary action. However, they will not share with concerned parents what steps were taken. DeWitt Junior High School principal Keith Cravotta sent a message to parents, “After the school day, it was brought to our attention that some students made a choice to act in a disrespectful manner on the way into the school building this morning. Our initial understanding is that this situation was related to the presidential election. We are investigating the situation and will be dealing with it appropriately.”
In Jacksonville, Florida, at First Coast High School someone placed signs that read “Colored” and “Whites Only” over two water fountains. Duval County Public Schools spokesperson Laureen Ricks issued the following statement to media, “The school is investigating, but it appears to be a prank. Staff immediately removed the notes once it was brought to their attention.”
At Royal Oak Middle School in Royal Oak, Michigan, a cruel video was posted to social media. In the video, White students loudly chant, “Build the wall” while their Hispanic classmates begin to cry. School officials stated they immediately addressed the situation and they are continuing to address the racial intolerance that was displayed. Royal Oak School Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin, issued a statement to media that reads in part: “In responding to this incident — indeed in responding to this election — we need to hear each other’s stories, not slogans, we need to work toward understanding, not scoring points, and we need to find a way to move forward that respects and values each and every member of our community. We will be working on this in school today. Please work on this with us.”
Many parents of color are finding it difficult to explain to their children what a Trump presidency means for America. The fact that some children at school are repeating Trump’s racist rhetoric is a cause of concern that continues to grow.