Keeping Schools Peaceful After the Election
A highly polarized year in politics has lead to heightened conflict on campus.
Once again, in the wake of a contentious presidential election outcome, schools have been popular sites for threats, violence, and other incidents sparked by the election. Unlike the threatening behavior that occurred after the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, many of these incidents are being done in the name of President-elect Donald Trump.
News stories from Royal Oak, Michigan, to San Marcos, Texas, have documented threats and violence to groups that either have been targeted by the president-elect in speeches and in video clips or are threatened by the positions he or his supporters have advocated—among them Muslims, Hispanic immigrants, those who identify as LGBTQ, and girls and women.
The New York Daily News writer Shaun King is collecting reports on his Twitter feed, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has said that the most common sites for the more than 400 reported post-election harassment incidents to date are schools.
Students at the University of Pittsburgh participated inan impromptu protest in the early hours of November 9. Sarah Best, a senior at the university, said incidents of groping at a local bar and the story of an acquaintance who had the “pussy” comment yelled at her, have made walking alone at night “terrifying” for her. Grabbing someone’s “pussy” has now entered the lexicon of threats against girls, with other young women reporting boys saying this to them at school.
The SPLC counted hundreds of racially charged incidents after the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, too. It’s hard to say how the numbers compare: The organization didn’t collect that data comprehensively, said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the SPLC, “because [such a response] was quite unexpected,” and 2008 was the first time that he had noted a spike in reported attacks after an election. Still, reports of bias attacks lessened in the third week after the 2008 election, and the SPLC is already noticing a similar downward trend this year. FBI data also shows that schools have become safer for all groups and that hate crimes overall have declined Schools Reaffirm Student Safety Following Trump Election - The Atlantic: