Is Trump’s election scaring LGBT students and children of immigrants? See what teachers say.

After Donald Trump won the presidency, I began to hear accounts of fearful students crying at school yesterday, especially LGBT adolescents and children whose parents are immigrants. There were reports of kids chanting “Build the wall,” as shown in the the video above from a Michigan school.

Several metro area teachers told me their students were so upset that either they or the school felt compelled to address their concerns. One said students at her middle school students were “terrified. We had to have a special assembly to talk about it. Many students –and teachers –crying.”

Another local teacher said, “They were absolutely apoplectic today. I had one girl, in tears, tell me she packed her bags this morning just in case immigration came to deport them because her family ‘could not afford to buy [her] new things.’ The fear is very real. I had to address it openly in all classes today.”

On a personal note, a family member in the military reported a neighbor’s daughter being told three times by classmates that she would now be sent back to Mexico. The child’s father is an U.S. Army officer and the family is not Hispanic – the girl happens to have an exotic first name that her classmates assumed was Spanish.

Wondering about the veracity of these stories, I queried Georgia teachers last night on Facebook:

Any teachers seeing fearful children? I am seeing social media postings by educators in schools with immigrant and refugee children saying the kids are afraid their parents will be gone when they get home. They fear their parents will be deported. Also seeing posts by teachers in high schools talking about the dread among LGBT students. Is this actually happening or is it apocryphal?

More than 6,000 people read my query and nearly 100 responded or sent me notes.

Here is a sampling:

•Oh, it’s happening! My students (majority Hispanic) think their parents will be sent back — they’re all talking about who was born here and who was not…who can stay and who has to leave…

•My daughter and her friends are terrified of what will happen to their immigrant, Muslim, and LGBT friends/classmates and started texting an hour before school…while sobbing. She begged me to stay home, but ultimately went to school to be of support to her friends. She’s still very shaken despite all her father and I are doing to help her feel secure and feel that her friends will be okay as well.

•I lead a non-profit that supports parents of traumatized children (most are adoptive/foster families) and also provides trauma-informed school training. We heard from parents and teachers across the country about concerns today. Children telling other children adopted internationally that they will “go back where they came from” (even though their parents know and tell them they are citizens). And some in rural areas particularly reporting that their children who are in mixed-race families were hearing racial slurs. It’s happening. And children are scared. We scared them by what we’ve aired on TV and talked about within their hearing. Parents are dismayed and in some instances keeping the children home, approaching the school about the bullying or extra protection. It’s happening.

•I have kids who legitimately think they can be “sent back to Africa” even though they are Americans by birth. I’m sure this comes from people at home. Luckily, we’re about to start talking about the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, so I can help them understand why that’s not going to happen.

•It’s happening all day long, during class and in the hallways. It’s emotionally draining to be a teacher right now.

•I had a student say that he was going to be deported.

•Maybe the parents of these young children should be reading children’s bedtime stories with them instead of discussing adult issues with them. Children repeat what they hear.

•When another student in kindergarten tells a Latino classmate that he is going to be deported now it has nothing to do with parents causing the problem.

•Kids are definitely worried, as are their parents. I had many students come talk to me about their fears. I got emails from parents, too.

•We live in a very diverse county, racially and culturally and religiously. Our county was one of the few in Georgia that voted for Hillary in fact. My 16-year-old came home from school today and told me a lot of kids in his high school were gloating and wearing Trump shirts. To be expected. He also told me a few classmates asked him on separate occasions if he was leaving the country now. When he said no… why? They said “You’re brown…aren’t you part Hispanic”?  Shocked? I’m not. This is why I’ve cried all day. My son also told me that in Mrs. Gonzalez’ (name changed for privacy) Spanish class they were playing a computer game where the students enter a screen name that pops up on the board when you answer a question correctly. One student choose the screen name DeportMrsGonzales. The teacher as well as two other girls burst into tears.

•I overheard several politically-centric LGBT conversations today, but the one that really got to me was when a senior looked up in the middle of class and said quietly, “I’ll never be able to get married now.”

•My students used class as a safe place to talk. They were scared, but a few were also afraid to let their families know they didn’t like Trump.  One Jewish girl. One mixed race girl with an immigrant mother. One African-American girl. Two white students. They all came in and cried. They told me several of their teachers sat in today and didn’t teach. Our youth pay attention.

 

 

Reader Comments 0

55 comments
JDJay
JDJay

Leave it to the comments section on the AJC to show how heartless people really can be. Many of these students, who were born here and are as American as the rest of us, are genuinely afraid that their families are about to be ripped apart or that they will be sent to a country they have never known. These are children for goodness sakes, and the teachers that are showing empathy towards these children deserve to be commended.

taylor48
taylor48

When HS students think it's OK to tell their teacher she should hang herself with her hijab, I think it's safe to say that there might be a problem here.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

As I read through this article, I kept thinking "This is a joke, Right?  Where is the punch line?"


Then I saw the videos of Hillary supporters crying and marching and throwing hissy fits.  Then I remembered, Oh yeah, that's how the politically correct act.


If you are a student and you are worried about getting deported, blame your criminal parents who broke America's laws.  Trump had nothing to do with it.


If you have been brainwashed by the politically correct propaganda that says you can be whatever gender you choose to be, seek help.


Trump singlehandedly drug the Republicans to the winner's circle.  America gave them the White House and both houses of Congress.  They have no excuses.  America has a lot of problems and it is going to take a lot of hard work to straighten it out.  If Trump can accomplish 1/10th of his campaign promises, it will be a good start.

bu2
bu2

Most of the fear is from bad parenting by the liberal parents.

Astropig
Astropig

I think that we readers deserve better than to re-litigate the last 18 months of political back and forth.The campaign is over.The people spoke.Half of the voters are rioting in the streets.Half are dancing in the streets.That's politics.


One of the reasons that Trump won is illustrated above.Readers in this space and in the media in general never got any substantive discussion of real issues! It was all scandal,personal destruction and political correctness,24/7, for almost two years now.We literally know more about Anthony Weiner's lewd texts than we know about our president-elects' education policy.(Especially in this space.).No one in the blind,deaf and dumb establishment/media bubble took the guy seriously until,oh,about 2:30 Wednesday morning.It's a little late to discover that there were two candidates for president this week,dont'cha think?


There hasn't been a lot of reporting here or anywhere else on what President-elect Trump will do in the realm of education policy.What little I could glean during the mudbath/campaign is that he's strongly in favor of expanded parental choice,is a big advocate of charter schools and wants to make common core a history book footnote.But we do know that he has a potty mouth and is a raging heterosexual. Thanks,media.Great job.





Falcaints
Falcaints

@Astropig Trump ran a very racist oriented campaign and to say otherwise is just foolish.  We have had incidents at our school as well.  The "Rednecks" are coming out of the woodwork to hassle and intimidate people of color.  This is a sad side effect of Trumps rise.

An American Patriot
An American Patriot

@Falcaints @Astropig Yeah, you know what?.....I'm a redneck AND one of those "Deplorables" that hrc spoke of.  You know what I'm doing?......I'm enjoying victory....I'm enjoying the fact that we elected a non-politician businessman and I'm enjoying the fact that I witnessed the most "Historic Presidential Election Victory In The History Of American Presidential Elections".  But, I will say this....."we are a nation of laws and we have immigration laws that have been on our books forever that, over the last eight years have not been enforced.  These laws will now start being enforced and if you're in this country illegally, you're breaking our laws.  It's not that I want to rid our country of anyone, it's that I WANT OUR LAWS TO BE ENFORCED....period!!!!!!!

Astropig
Astropig

@An American Patriot @Falcaints @Astropig


I do too,because I believe in the Rule Of Law.It's why they want to come here to begin with. I welcome legal immigrants with both or my bronzed,Fabio-like arms outstretched.But if your first act in a new country is to break their laws,I'm not in favor of that.

Astropig
Astropig

@Falcaints @Astropig


Both sides ran a racist campaign.You apparently only listened to the people that you agree with.


He's the president elect.Run a better candidate next time.Get over it.

newsphile
newsphile

@Astropig @Falcaints Seldom do I agree with Astropig, but I do today:  Both sides ran racists, deplorable campaigns.  We have sunk to an all-time low. 

It is time to stop the hate-filled comments,, name calling,  and snide remarks that do nothing but continue to support the enormous divide in our country.  We should all respect the OFFICE of president, whether or not we like who's sitting in the chair.    While we can't control what others say and do, we can control our own comments and actions.  I hope we can return some respect for people with opposite views and some  graciousness back to our land.  No matter who we voted for, this is still the greatest country on earth.   

Astropig
Astropig

@newsphile @Astropig @Falcaints


@Astropig @Falcaints Seldom do I agree with Astropig, but I do today: "


Sorry it took so long...
I just got back from the emergency room.Had a fainting spell...


But seriously,
" I hope we can return some respect for people with opposite views and some  graciousness back to our land.

How do we get there? How do we stop shouting at one another and actually listen? We can be all kissy face for 3 years and then dirtbag politicians (on both sides) use our natural desire to "win the issue" to turn us into cut throat enemies.And as we have just seen,some things said in the heat of campaigns can't be un-said after the votes are counted.
How do we get to respect and some measure of understanding while still defending principles that we truly believe? I'd really like to see your answer.



newsphile
newsphile

@Astropig @newsphile @Falcaints Perhaps the first step is being respectful in words and deeds of people who have opposing views from ours.  Second, use the voting booth to create term limits on unethical, divisive elected officials whose self-interest overrides performing the duties of the offices they were elected to fill.  It's not going to be easy, but it's not impossible. 

When the overwhelming majority of people held their noses to vote because they didn't trust the candidate of either party, it's time for drastic measures.  The political process won't stand still.  It will be much worse next time, or average men and women will step up and demand better from both political parties.  We all love our parties and have made a game of beating the other guys instead of putting our country's needs first.  We have to start now; waiting until the next election cycle is too late.

Kathy Brown
Kathy Brown

Do any of you actually think children are even considered when "they" voted for Trump?

betterday
betterday

Looking at the overgrown children in our streets agitating against our government because they did not get their way in the election, it seems you and the teacher community should focus on teaching kids (1) civics and (2) how to lose graciously.  You and your ilk have created a generation of spoiled brats, anarchists who cannot accept the word "no."  


This IS America and sometimes our candidate wins, sometimes they lose -- just like any other area of life.   How about teaching kids that? 

wikileaks
wikileaks

Only yesterday both Hillary and Obama called for an end to partisan attacks on our new president-elect.

Why not honor their request, Maureen?

Starik
Starik

@wikileaks Attacking Trump's desire to deport "illegals" isn't partisan; it's a reasonable position to take. If "illegals" have children who are US citizens and/or are good working people we should let them stay.

Starik
Starik

@wikileaks @Starik Actually, my position is supported by most decent people. Additionally, who won the most votes? Not electoral votes, real votes. A decent Democratic candidate would have won easily.

wikileaks
wikileaks

@Starik @wikileaks 

Decent people don't steal American jobs, or make excuses for those who do. As for vote counts, a final one won't be completed for weeks -- perhaps after President Trump's inauguration. 

And up until Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton was hailed by the media as the greatest and most qualified candidate who ever lived. With an unrivaled ground game.

Or have you forgotten?

Annie
Annie

Immigrants did not steal American jobs. They were recruited here to do jobs that Americans would not do. Just like the Scotch Irish, Chinese, and Italians in the 1800s who built the railroads and cities.

wikileaks
wikileaks

@Annie 

Americans won't write computer software, construct houses, drive delivery trucks or work in the retail sector? 

Give me a break!

An American Patriot
An American Patriot

@bu2 @Starik @wikileaks I would be inclined to believe that getting at least 290 electoral college votes is a mandate from the American People.  Liberals are the ones who created decaying inner cities that always vote democratic. The electoral college that we have been electing presidents for 240 years is the system.  Learn to live with it.....I have for eight long years.

newsphile
newsphile

This could be a good teaching moment, explaining the importance of voting, how the electoral college works, and that the election is now over and it is time for working together to heal our land.  Good teachers know how to apply lessons to events of the day.  Teachers should not use their classrooms to promote fear nor to inflict their personal political views (even if they support my candidate :) ).  Parents have a huge responsibility in this.  Young people tend to mirror reactions of parents. 

Astropig
Astropig

@newsphile


Agree.Teachable moment.I hope that teachers(and parents) use the opportunity to explain that our system has its faults,but it is the best going.

dekalbteacher
dekalbteacher

@newsphile ,

I agree that parents play an important role in "this." My first grader has followed the candidates and the election since the republican and democratic conventions. No matter how much we tried to cultivate open dialogue free from oversimplifications and labels, we couldn't-and probably shouldn't-shield her from the comments shared by classmates. 

Another comment
Another comment

My college age daughter is so angry at the African American and Asian students who started blowing up her phone Tuesday night that Trump had won. Then they admitted that they had not bothered to vote! Now they are protesting! She said she can not stomach them anymore. She is busy, she has two part time jobs besides school. None of her complaining classmates has a single job besides school.

newsphile
newsphile

I couldn't bring myself to vote for either candidate this year, so I wrote in my choice.  Having said that, we all have to accept that we now have a president.  If everything Trump or Clinton promised was made into law, over-turned, or whatever, it would be the very first time ever that all campaign promises were kept.  Perhaps we would all be wise to wait and see what actually happens before getting so distraught and certainly before adding to the stress of any students. Call me hopeful and/or cynical, but I just don't see all this happening.   

jezel-dog / Coach - me
jezel-dog / Coach - me

It makes me sad to read this article. What are we doing to these kids....and to the poor and the broken and the bruised....and to those who are made to feel unaccepted ? You think we might have a heart problem in America ?

newsphile
newsphile

@jezel Yes.  Our land needs healing.  It's also sad to see that teachers and administrators are allowing their personal feelings to spill over into their schools.  They are the adults here.  They should see that anyone bullying other students is punished, according to school policies.  They should see that students who are upset are referred to adults who can provide help.  Teachers crying and specially called assemblies do not make this situation better.  It feeds fear and uncertainty.   

bu2
bu2

@jezel Well 60 million people voted for a candidate who vowed to "put a lot of coal miners out of work" and who called 25% of the country a "basket of deplorables."

class80olddog
class80olddog

“I’ll never be able to get married now.” Why would she say that? Did the Supreme Court not rule that gays have a right to marry?

Astropig
Astropig

@MaureenDowney @class80olddog


He won the right to appoint SCOTUS justices,if they can be confirmed.That's why elections matter.His corrupt opponent wanted to take away enumerated rights from her political enemies,so I'm happy she lost.

class80olddog
class80olddog

What would LGBT children be afraid of, unless they just wanted to be a male who wants to use the girl's restroom.

Kim
Kim

@class80olddog

That was an ignorant response.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Ignorant of what? Or was that just a general put-down because you could not logically refute iit?

class80olddog
class80olddog

(Just FYI I did not vote for Trump or Hillary). That being said, it is not Trump's fault if children are afraid that their parents might be deported. Assure them that if their parents are legal, they have nothing to fear. Otherwise, lay all the blame on parents who insisted on breaking our laws. Perhaps now schools will not see significant funds diverted to having to teach English to students who don't speak English because they or their parents are illegal.

dekalbteacher
dekalbteacher

@class80olddog .

Are you serious? How do you explain that to an eight-year old? What about seventeen year-old workers and consumers who have known only the US? Yes, we can all agree that some laws may have been broken. And yes we can all agree that our approach to immigration is going to change. However, no one-even Trump, I hope or have to believe and certainly our new first lady-could countenance sending away people who have spent so many years contributing to our economy and our society.


I'm curious what the economic hit looks like for home building, farming, retail, test creators and assessors as well as social security. 


Roberta Jenkins
Roberta Jenkins

I think you should have a chat with the folks over at Fugees Family

AJC  Get Schooled
AJC Get Schooled

I heard Luma Mufleh met with students Wednesday morning and talked about the election.

Roberta Jenkins
Roberta Jenkins

What I mean is that if you want to really know what the kids think, that's the person you should talk to.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

This is why this election was SO important. The left-leaning leaders and teachers and media have been brain-washing people for decades, and enough is enough already. Now, if you are in this country illegally, you might have a legitimate concern. Otherwise, this is a blatant example of the systemic child abuse (indoctrination) that has been going on for years.

redweather
redweather

@DawgDadII With all the fear-mongering Trump has done for the last year, you lay the blame on "left-leaning leaders and teachers and media"?

Kim
Kim

@DawgDadll

With all the media news, there is no way a child could MISS the scare of deportation. And, your and class80olddog's remarks just show the great division between 2 groups in our country. I definitely, for one, am so embarrassed that we elected Trump for president.

bu2
bu2

@redweather @DawgDadII The fear mongering has been ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Hillary Clinton, NY Times and Washington Post.  LGBT children scared????  One of the prime people to introduce Trump was a gay CEO who said he was gay during the introduction and who, by the way, got a standing ovation at the Republican convention.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Again, only children of illegals have any reason to fear. I don't recall anyone calling for deportation of American citizens.