Teresa

Post-Election Climate 2016

8 posts in this topic

Many people are not feeling safe after the results of the 2016 election. This can be especially true in schools where bullying behavior has been emboldened as of late. There has also been a swell of student activism as a reaction as well.

Please share with us how it feels on your campuses and how it affects you and your work.

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Our campus is as accepting as ever, but a lot of people are nervous after the election. At the next GSA meeting I plan to discuss how everyone feels about it and try assuage some fears, but in all honesty I'm pretty nervous myself. I don't think it'll affect the campus, but life outside of school might not be so unaffected.

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3 hours ago, emeryboard said:

Our campus is as accepting as ever, but a lot of people are nervous after the election. At the next GSA meeting I plan to discuss how everyone feels about it and try assuage some fears, but in all honesty I'm pretty nervous myself. I don't think it'll affect the campus, but life outside of school might not be so unaffected.

Glad your campus is continuing to feel like a safe place. Please update everyone with how the next GSA meeting goes. Look forward to hearing how they all experience it as well.

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I feel extremely lucky to be at my current school. All of the teachers are very understanding about the emotional health of all of the students. The overall climate of the school is in a depressed state. I had a GSA meeting on Wednesday, the day after the election, and that was not only emotional but also healing. We were all sobbing together and talking about our immense fear for discrimination and the lives of LGBTQ people in other states. But we also talked about what we were grateful for and how everyone was going to support each other. I personally haven't gotten through a class without crying and having to leave; however, I am able to go to a multitude of teachers to help calm me down. All of the minority communities at my school feel a great sense of community.

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31 minutes ago, SJ Stephens said:

I feel extremely lucky to be at my current school. All of the teachers are very understanding about the emotional health of all of the students. The overall climate of the school is in a depressed state. I had a GSA meeting on Wednesday, the day after the election, and that was not only emotional but also healing. We were all sobbing together and talking about our immense fear for discrimination and the lives of LGBTQ people in other states. But we also talked about what we were grateful for and how everyone was going to support each other. I personally haven't gotten through a class without crying and having to leave; however, I am able to go to a multitude of teachers to help calm me down. All of the minority communities at my school feel a great sense of community.

Thanks for sharing SJ. I'm so glad you have a community of support.

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On 11/13/2016 at 7:51 PM, SJ Stephens said:

I feel extremely lucky to be at my current school. All of the teachers are very understanding about the emotional health of all of the students. The overall climate of the school is in a depressed state. I had a GSA meeting on Wednesday, the day after the election, and that was not only emotional but also healing. We were all sobbing together and talking about our immense fear for discrimination and the lives of LGBTQ people in other states. But we also talked about what we were grateful for and how everyone was going to support each other. I personally haven't gotten through a class without crying and having to leave; however, I am able to go to a multitude of teachers to help calm me down. All of the minority communities at my school feel a great sense of community.

I'm also glad you have students and teachers who are there to support you and your fellow students. What are some of the most effective things that your teachers and other students do for you that help in this situation?

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Chiming in a bit late on this topic, but that's not a bad thing.  First, time to settle down and evaluate is always wise, but also, it's been interesting to see the shift in attitudes.  It hasn't been positive, not at any point, but it has been....improving?  

The day after was stressful.  I had to visit the local HS my middle school feeds into and then head back to my campus.  At the HS, there was more anger than there was at my MS; there I saw fear and trepidation.  But really, most of the animosity and fear seemed to stem from the teachers and not the students.  In some cases, teachers were even instilling their own fears into students who were just uncertain.

I worked hard to maintain an attitude of positivity.  I kept telling people that what we saw the night prior was a reminder of how much work we still have to do as a country, about how far we are from where we need to be.  I also pointed out that, having lived and worked in "The Rust Belt", that I knew how poor that area had become and how people in those areas aren't just a group of homophobic, or racist or anything of that sort of individuals, but that they felt neither major party was representing them and that no one was listening.  I stated that people in that area felt that their voices weren't being heard and that night they made their voices heard, and we should hear their pain, and listen so we can begin the healing process.

Sadly, that somehow translated to me being dubbed a "Trump Supporter" by several teachers.  A reminder that some people's anger blocks them from having productive conversations; people weren't ready for that at the time, they needed to grieve.  Since then, several teachers and I have discussed how they had mislabeled me and how unjust it was, but also how I had not fully recognized their pain.

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14 minutes ago, John Maynard said:

Chiming in a bit late on this topic, but that's not a bad thing.  First, time to settle down and evaluate is always wise, but also, it's been interesting to see the shift in attitudes.  It hasn't been positive, not at any point, but it has been....improving?  

The day after was stressful.  I had to visit the local HS my middle school feeds into and then head back to my campus.  At the HS, there was more anger than there was at my MS; there I saw fear and trepidation.  But really, most of the animosity and fear seemed to stem from the teachers and not the students.  In some cases, teachers were even instilling their own fears into students who were just uncertain.

I worked hard to maintain an attitude of positivity.  I kept telling people that what we saw the night prior was a reminder of how much work we still have to do as a country, about how far we are from where we need to be.  I also pointed out that, having lived and worked in "The Rust Belt", that I knew how poor that area had become and how people in those areas aren't just a group of homophobic, or racist or anything of that sort of individuals, but that they felt neither major party was representing them and that no one was listening.  I stated that people in that area felt that their voices weren't being heard and that night they made their voices heard, and we should hear their pain, and listen so we can begin the healing process.

Sadly, that somehow translated to me being dubbed a "Trump Supporter" by several teachers.  A reminder that some people's anger blocks them from having productive conversations; people weren't ready for that at the time, they needed to grieve.  Since then, several teachers and I have discussed how they had mislabeled me and how unjust it was, but also how I had not fully recognized their pain.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, John. I know many teachers and students are extremely stressed about this, and it is important for teachers to have the best resources on how to support their students without further scaring them. We've found this article helpful: http://neatoday.org/2016/11/09/talking-to-students-about-election/. There are going to be many challenging discussions ahead to get people to understand one another's perspectives. I'm glad you were able to move to better understanding. Please continue to let us know how things go.

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