Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 12
'Trump Effect' Worries
in some communities bearing the
During the second presidential
debate, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton scolded Trump for the
rhetoric, going so far as to blame him
for increased tension in
"Children listen to
what is being said,
... and there's a lot
of fear," Clinton said.
"In fact, teachers and
parents are calling it the Trump effect. Bullying is up. A lot of people
are feeling uneasy. A lot of kids are
expressing their concerns."
School leaders here in Asheville
refer to the controversy at Erwin
High as "The Incident," a civics and
economics class project taken completely out of context on social media.
Students were asked to take a stance
on immigration, based on what they'd
heard from the candidates running
for president. About 30 signs were
created-several bearing decidedly
The fallout was both immediate
Students staged a protest the next
day, with many waving a Mexican
flag that they claimed was confiscated
by school employees. Parents showed
up in droves to demand answers and
accountability for perceived grievances past and present. School leaders scrambled to quell the tension,
hiring more bilingual staff and providing training sessions to help educators understand how to talk about
culturally sensitive issues.
"It was an assignment, but it hit
the nerve that was reality to those
who have experienced that frustration, and anger, and that cultural difference," said David Thompson, the
director of student services for the
Buncombe County school district.
Still, more than a year later, Keyla
doesn't feel comfortable on campus.
"I feel that racism continues existing there," the 19-year-old said
through an interpreter. "The school
has a lot of work to do because they
don't even realize everything that's
going on. How racism comes out
amongst the students, they don't
know what some students go through
Educators at Erwin High acknowledge that uneasiness like Keyla's remains evident at the school.
"We'd be remiss to say that it's not
there, and that it's not underlying,"
school social worker Shelly Rose said.
"I don't think that by any stretch of
the imagination that it's not a part of
these kids' lives."
Clear and Present Anger
Teaching Tolerance, an education project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, took an informal,
unscientific poll of educators last
spring to gauge how the presidential campaign had affected schools.
The organization queried teachers
who subscribe to its weekly news-
letter to collect anecdotes.
More than two-thirds of the 2,000
teachers who responded reported that
students-mainly immigrants, children of immigrants, and Muslims-
expressed concerns or fears about
what might happen after the election.
Fearing anti-immigrant violence in
the wake of the controversy at Erwin
High, 15-year-old Maria Cruz said
her mother kept her out of school for
a week after the signs went up.
"I didn't even want to come," said
Maria, a Mexican immigrant. "If they
don't want us here, why am I here?"
Teachers who answered the Teaching Tolerance survey also reported
that the election has caused some
students to feel more empowered to
bully. The offensive, sometimes shocking language coming from the presidential campaign has accelerated in
recent weeks, with women joining
immigrants and Muslims as a target
"What [Trump] says, for children,
it's catchy. It ignores nuance," said
Phillip Carter, an assistant professor
at Florida International University
who studies language and culture in
A suburban Dallas high school
hosted a Trump-themed football pep
rally-with a sign depicting the border wall he wants to build-before
a game against a rival high school
with a large Latino population. The
rally's theme, "Make Colleyville
Great Again," was a direct reference
to Trump's central campaign pledge:
"Make America Great Again."
At a Spanish-language immersion
school in California's Sonoma County,
vandals last week spraypainted
"Build the wall higher" and "Trump
2016" on walls around the campus.
In a high school 40 miles west of
Asheville in McDowell County, about
30 students posed in front of a makeshift wall for an Instagram post captioned, "We built the wall first." The
student sitting front and center in
the photo wore a Trump T-shirt.
While there's no research or quantitative data to back the theory
that bullying is on the rise and that
Trump's rhetoric is behind the increase, there is palpable unease for
some students in schools with documented Trump-related incidents
"I think it's going to continue, I think
it's going to get worse a little," Erwin
12 | EDUCATION WEEK | NOVEMBER 2, 2016 | www.edweek.org
High student Josue said through an
interpreter. (Education Week is identifying Josue only by his first name
because of his immigration status.)
The 18-year-old immigrant from
El Salvador arrived in the United
States in January, joining his mother
and two siblings. During his monthlong journey, he often went without
food, "knowing that there was only
a possibility" he might arrive to his
"Because Donald Trump has
started discriminating against everyone," Josue said. "Now that's how
people will feel they can treat us from
Maureen Costello, the director of
Teaching Tolerance, said: "Kids learn
the lessons we show them, not just the
ones we teach explicitly, and they are
not going to unlearn them in a day."
Researchers who study the development of racial attitudes in children
and the impact of racial trauma can't
say what the long-term effects will be
on the students who are the targets
of taunts and bullying.
"What does that do to the way
they construct meaning of themselves, of their families, of their
home languages, of their ethnicity?" asked Carter of Florida International University.
"Those effects are unfortunately
already out there. Chances are these
kids are already feeling insecure and
unsure of their place in school and
maybe even ashamed. In which case,
these kinds of comments affirm the
sense of shame and vulnerability
they're already getting from school."
That fear and vulnerability for
Erwin High students spiked this
summer after Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested
Photos by Jacob Biba for Education Week
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
one of their former schoolmates at
his home in one of its raids.
Guatemala native Elmer Reynoso,
a 19-year-old, sat in a South Carolina
detention center for months after
skipping an immigration hearing.
Reynoso's case drew support from
immigrant activists who helped get
him released from detention and secure a new hearing. But the threat
of deportation still looms for Reynoso
Josue's legal status remains in
limbo as he awaits his own immigration hearing. The possibility he
might be sent back weighs heavily.
"All the effort it took to arrive here.
Knowing that there was only a possibility that you might arrive here
alive," Josue said. "Maybe that first
day you present at court, they might
say, 'No, we don't accept you,' and
they send you back."
Anxiety over the sweeps led the
Buncombe district to declare its
schools "safe zones," where immigration authorities are not allowed
to enter the campuses or round up
Parents were spooked by reports of
unmarked black vans near schools,
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: A view
of Asheville, N.C., a city that
bills itself as immigrantfriendly, but where some
Latino students say they
have experienced hostility.
Mirian Porras Rosas is
co-coordinator of Nuestro
Centro, an outreach center
serving the Hispanic
community in Asheville.
Keyla Estrada, 19, is an
immigrant from Mexico and
a student at Erwin High
School in Asheville. In her
first week at the school in
2015, controversy erupted
when some students
created posters with
anti-immigrant messages as
part of a civics assignment.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - November 2, 2016
Education Week - November 2, 2016
Teaching Literature Outside Of English Class
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Citizenship Initiative Will Target State Legislatures
Science Gains Seen at 4th, 8th Grades
African-American Museum Gears Up School Offerings
Principals Work Nearly 60 Hours A Week, According to Study
Conservative Group Focusing On ESSA Expands Reach
Guidance, Hurdles for ESSA’s ‘Well-Rounded Education’ Grant
SNAPSHOT: Tracking the Common Core
News in Brief
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
IN CONVERSATION: Q&A With Joseph Gauld
Election Lesson Reverberates In N.C. District
Education’s Tenuous Toehold on 2016 Ballot
SAM WINEBURG AND SARAH McGREW: What Students Don’t Know About Fact-Checking
BY THE NUMBERS: What Do Budding Voters Think?
MICHAEL J. FEUER: Whither Evidence?
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Election Lesson Reverberates In N.C. District
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 2
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 3
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - News in Brief
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Report Roundup
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Science Gains Seen at 4th, 8th Grades
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 7
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 8
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 9
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Principals Work Nearly 60 Hours A Week, According to Study
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 11
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 12
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 13
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 14
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Guidance, Hurdles for ESSA’s ‘Well-Rounded Education’ Grant
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - SNAPSHOT: Tracking the Common Core
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 17
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Education’s Tenuous Toehold on 2016 Ballot
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 19
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 20
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 21
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - SAM WINEBURG AND SARAH McGREW: What Students Don’t Know About Fact-Checking
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - BY THE NUMBERS: What Do Budding Voters Think?
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 24
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Letters
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 27
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - MICHAEL J. FEUER: Whither Evidence?
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - CT1
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - CT2
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - CT3
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - CT4