Teaching Trump/Scaring The Children!

Bob Weir has a fun act called Scaring The Children. This post, unfortunately, is not about them.

Rick Hess and Checker Finn urge a tamping down of the anti-Trump talk in schools:

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.

We understand that the country is divided and that some kids share their parents’ fears of potentially being deported or losing their health insurance. We’ve surely no objection to teachers comforting fearful children. That’s a responsibility of all adults who care for them. But we don’t believe that educators are supposed to make kids scared or teach that there is a right outcome and a wrong one to a presidential election. And we’re puzzled to see so many educators – and even education journalists – imagine that Trump’s election can only be understood through the prism of racism and xenophobia.

Kevin Carey says, no, “teachers should tell the truth about Trump

By defining president-elect Trump’s shortcomings in a way that deliberately excludes all of the worst things about him, Hess and Finn are joining the ranks of conservatives and Republicans in Washington, DC who, after eight years out of power and for reasons that range from wishful thinking to much worse, are busily convincing themselves that Donald Trump is redeemable. He is not. His bigotry is bone-deep.

This truth is perfectly obvious to the many educators who spent last week meeting their fundamental obligation to their students: helping them understand the full measure of the world we now live in, and validating their entirely justified fear.

It seems this one is not straightforward. Finn and Hess are clearly right that our national inability to understand each other (as well as some partisanship) penetrates into some schools and classrooms. On the other hand, Carey is certainly correct that Trump (and this election season overall) are not normal or routine events in American politics and some kids have reason to be more alarmed than might otherwise be the case after a more routine election.

One Reply to “Teaching Trump/Scaring The Children!”

  1. The American elections was having an effect on classrooms around the world. British schools in the UK, where discussing politics is unnatural saw a wave of teachers voicing their opinion about President-elect. This was common but children around the world were exposed to his sayings.

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