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Why the Trump effect could increase bullying

Donald Trump has won the presidency, but not before launching one of the most ugly and fractious campaigns in American history. As the 2016 election season now comes to a close, there are signs that it has left scars behind, particularly in the schools of the United States.

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teachers’ union, recently launched an information campaign to tie Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s “inflammatory rhetoric” to an increase in bullying in America’s schools.

At the same time, the nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center released survey data from the “Teaching Tolerance” project that gave details about the toxic effects Trump’s campaign rhetoric has had on teachers and students (and especially racial/ethnic minority students).

The SPLC report described immigrant students’ – especially Muslim and Latino immigrants – concerns about what might happen to them or their families after the election. Most respondents reported an increase in uncivil political discourse or anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant attitudes. Teachers reported reluctance to discuss the election in their classrooms due to fear of escalating this phenomenon.

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