Educators get blamed for everything. Now, it’s for fanning fear of Trump.
Educators can’t get a break.
Teachers are routinely blamed for poor student achievement — even when kids come to school in no condition to learn — and for being greedy, with their outlandish desire for adequate pay and collective bargaining rights so they can’t be fired without cause. School leaders are accused of being tradition-bound and motivated too much by a desire to maintain the status quo (and their jobs).
Now there’s something new: Educators are being accused of fanning fear of Donald Trump. As if Trump hadn’t scared a lot of kids with his own rhetoric about, for example, tossing out millions of undocumented immigrants, banning Muslims from entering the country and mocking a reporter with a disability. As if many teachers didn’t confront kids coming to class already crying.
A piece in USA Today, written by two respected conservatives, Frederick Hess and Chester Finn, titled “Stop Teaching Anti-Trump Bias,” admonished educators for sowing fear among students and mourning the loss of Hillary Clinton. Hess is director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and Finn is a senior fellow and president emeritus at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. They noted in their opinion piece that many messages have been sent out by schools and universities trying to address student fears and said in part:
Had Hillary Clinton won the bitter contest, would any of this have still been deemed necessary by so many educators? Of course not.
We’re no fans of the president-elect, whose behavior has frequently been appalling, whose policy ignorance is vast, and who appears to lack any coherent philosophy of government. That said, we are astonished that so many educators, schools and colleges chose to treat his election as reason to alarm their students and to suggest that only a Democratic victory would have aligned with the nation’s values.