Nov 12, 2016 10:10 AM EST
Election Aftermath: Struggles and Challenges Educators Face in Comforting Students Affected By Election Results
Hundreds and thousands of high school students from different states have walked out of their classes on November 9 to protest the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential election. Because of this, teachers were faced with the challenge of making their students understand what the Trump presidency would mean for their future.
Emotions were hightened in almost every part of the nation during the election day, and students started asking a lot of questions and expressed their fears about their future, while others were celebrating and hopeful of the promise that the new administration will bring. These educators, especially the ones in schools where there was a larger number of immigrants and minority populations, were confronted with classrooms of worried and troubled students. Many of these teachers set aside the discussion on their lessons and took the time to explain and discuss the election, hoping to ease the fears that the students might have.
"They are worried and scared about the uncertainty surrounding their community," said Tyler Alabanza-Behard, an English teacher at a charter high school in Houston, where many students are undocumented immigrants. Instead of conducting a class, he was confronted with many questions he had a difficulty answering "They were asking questions I couldn't answer: 'What will happen to my family? What will happen to my friends?'"
Jake Zebley, a high school teacher from Maryland's Eastern Shore, also shared how one of his Hispanic students approached him with a look of defeat on his face, saying "I guess today is our last day," Zebley recounted the 9th grader saying. "Because Trump won, my family might be deported."
Just like the rest of the teachers, Zebley tried to comfort the student and began the discussion in the class with the explanation about the different branches of the US government and how the power and the authority is balanced.
"Students started to be far less fearful and a little more optimistic because they knew it was not one person who could set the course of their future," he said.
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