Monday, November 28, 2016

The push for positive school climate bumps up against Trump rhetoric | EdSource

The push for positive school climate bumps up against Trump rhetoric | EdSource:

The push for positive school climate bumps up against Trump rhetoric



 President-elect Donald Trump were a high school student in California, he might find himself in a restorative justice circle making amends for his hurtful words and behavior.
“He would be in a lot of trouble,” said Jaana Juvonen, a UCLA researcher who studies student bullying.
Supported by civil rights laws, brain science and research on learning, schools in California and across the nation have increasingly made it a priority to try to create classrooms that are welcoming to all. The goal is civil discourse, improved academic performance and fewer discipline incidents. Positive school climate is part of the idea behind elementary school students shaking hands with their teachers in the morning, middle school students creating “No Bullying!” posters and high school students talking it out in stress management support groups. In California, improving “school climate” is part of the new education accountability system, although no one is quite sure what to measure.
Now the positive school climate movement has been thrown off course by the rhetoric of Trump, Juvonen said. “It’s so disheartening to see,” she said. “Schools were so gung-ho about addressing bullying, and now we have the ugliest face of bullying re-emerging.”
On the campaign trail, Trump disparaged Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, suggested he was open to a database of the names of people who practice the Muslim faith, boasted about his ability to sexually assault women and mocked a disabled reporter.
Since the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center has reported more than 700 incidents of hateful graffiti, assaults and bullying, with 40 percent of the incidents occurring at K-12 schools and universities across the nation. In California, six incidents of racist graffiti have occurred since October in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District in the east Bay Area. In one case, a urinal in a boys’ bathroom at Monte Vista High School in Danville was marked “whites” and another was marked “colored.” In Shasta County, a Shasta High School student handed out “deportation notices” to some students. In Los Angeles, a substitute physical education teacher at Bret Harte Preparatory Middle School was recordedtelling students that he had their phone numbers and addresses and their parents would be deported.
In response, nine leading national school administration groups, including AASA: The School Superintendents Association, are pushing back. Last week, the groups issued a statement calling for educators, parents and students to step up and “make our schools’ values known.” The groups asked for schools to publicly affirm that all The push for positive school climate bumps up against Trump rhetoric | EdSource:


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