Today in my high school Contemporary Lit elective we began as usual discussing the news of the day. My students described the facts, then asked questions and made observations (respectfully to each other) about the election in which a few of them had voted. I’m happy that most felt safe to discuss their fears, their satisfaction, and even conflicts in their own homes.
They also expressed themselves in writing, either a letter to President-elect Trump or a journal entry on their thoughts and feelings today. Some of these PRIVATE comments were heart-wrenching. Many Muslim, Latino, and even Chinese students expressed worry about family deportations or inability of relatives ever to travel to the US. Some shared taunting online comments they’d seen. One girl feared (as a minority woman) the potential effect on her college experience, the “most important years” of her life. A few felt the drama was overblown.
I concluded the segment with some historical perspective and a reminder and reassurances to keep reaching out. We can continue to be patient and kind to each other and those close to us. It felt right for my classes and me. Moving forward….