For veteran educator Molly McCloskey, whose career has been spent advocating for the needs of the whole child, being asked by Operation Respect founder Peter Yarrow to take over the reins of the organization was “an amazing and humbling experience.” “There is no question that anti-bias, anti-bullying, peace education is needed now more now than ever,” she said. “We’ve learned so much about mental health and the damage of trauma and bullying—and how it impacts kids over time. The true extent of trauma has been revealed after years of researching its effects.”
Between March 23 and April 2, 2016, Teaching Tolerance surveyed approximately 2,000 teachers, asking them how the presidential campaign was affecting their students and their teaching. A synthesis of our survey results make up the content of this report: “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on Our Nation’s Schools.” The results indicated that the campaign is having a profoundly negative impact on schoolchildren across the country, producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom. Many students worry about being deported. Many educators fear teaching about the election at all. Teachers also reported an increase in the bullying, harassment and intimidation of students whose races, religions or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates.