Public school teachers worry for their profession under a Trump presidency
The president-elect has called teachers “stupid.”
President-elect Donald Trump once called teachers “stupid” and sharply criticized teachers unions. Members of his family have minimized sexual harassment and suggested that teaching kindergarten would be a good job for someone who does not “belong in the workforce.” Now he is preparing to take over the U.S. Department of Education, and many teachers are worried about the consequences for their jobs.
Throughout his campaign, Trump offered scant details on how he would try to steer federal education policy. But he has hinted that major cuts could be coming to the Department of Education, and he has a long track record of making dismissive or demeaning comments about teachers.
Trump said teachers had very little intelligence in a 1997 legal deposition.
“I assumed that the people essentially teaching the kids were not stupid. They turned out to be very stupid,” Trump said.
He also wrote in The Art of The Deal that he once hit his music teacher for “not knowing anything about music.” In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, he suggested that teachers unions are harmful to the public education system. He wrote:
Defenders of the status quo insist that parental choice means the end of public schools. Let’s look at the facts. Right now, nine of ten children attend public schools. … When teachers’ unions say even the most minuscule program allowing school choice is a mortal threat, they’re saying: If we aren’t allowed to keep 90% of the market, we can’t survive.
His son Donald Trump, Jr. echoed his father’s comments last summer and said Democrats care more about saving teachers’ jobs than they do about providing students a good education. During a a 2013 appearance on the radio show Opie and Anthony, Trump, Jr. also suggested that teaching kindergarten was a job for women who weren’t tough enough to deal with sexual harassment in other workplaces.
“If you can’t handle some of the basic stuff that’s become a problem in the workforce today, then you don’t belong in the workforce. Like, you should go maybe teach kindergarten,” Trump, Jr. said.
His remarks implied that kindergarten teachers don’t get harassed, that women should just learn to live with sexual harassment in the workplace, and that being a kindergarten teacher is not a real job, Madeline Will wrote in Public school teachers worry for their profession under a Trump presidency: