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Teachers Report Spike in Trump-Related Harassment at Schools

Ninety percent of the 10,000 teachers, administrators, and counsellors who responded to the survey reported that the election has had a "negative impact" on students.

by Lauren Messman
30 November 2016, 12:00am

Image via VICE Staff

An overwhelming number of educators from schools across the country have reported a spike in anxiety and harassment among students in the days following the election, according to a new survey from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

In an effort to chart the so-called Trump Effect in schools, the SPLC conducted an online survey and received responses from 10,000 teachers, counsellors, and administrators across the country. Ninety percent of respondents said they've seen a "negative impact" on students' mood and behaviour since the election, and 80 percent reported increased anxiety among minority students.

The SPLC also received 2,500 reports of specific incidents of bigotry and harassment on campus that were directly related to the election. The incidents, while not all independently verified, include everything from verbal threats to vandalism involving racial slurs and swastikas.

"The p-word has been used very casually, citing Trump as the excuse," a high school teacher from Michigan reported. Another from Tennessee wrote, "'Kill the n*****s' etched in school bathroom. Paper with n-word left in my classroom. Neither incident was investigated."

"It is worth noting that many teachers took pains to point out that the incidents they were reporting represent a distinct uptick; these dynamics are new and can be traced directly to the results of the election," the report said.

The survey follows another report from the civil rights organisation that's collected 867 separate incidents of harassment and intimidation since the election, the majority of which were motivated by anti-immigrant or anti-black sentiments.

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