Dear Mr. Trump:

Increasingly, educators across the country are reporting that the divisive and hostile rhetoric used by you this presidential campaign is seeping into classrooms and schools. As educators, we know that learning cannot take place when students are anxious or afraid.

Some examples of how students have been affected by what has come to be known as the Trump Effect include:

  • In Indiana, students holding Trump signs chanted “Build the Wall!” while at a high school basketball game.
  • In Virginia, two elementary school students taunted their immigrant classmates by saying they would be deported when Trump became president.
  • After fellow students in Washington had repeatedly shouted slurs from their cars at one Muslim teenager, her teacher reported the girl expressed suicidal thoughts.
  • A Tennessee kindergarten teacher said a Latino pupil, told by classmates he will be deported and trapped behind a wall, every day asks: “Is the wall here yet?”
  • An elementary school teacher in Berkeley, Calif., reported one student telling another, “You were born in a Taco Bell.”

As educators, we know we are role models for our students and want them to grow up to be kind, generous and thoughtful. But you have been anything but a role model. You have called women fat pigs, attacked the Gold Star family of a fallen American soldier, want to ban Muslims from coming to our country, and made fun of people with disabilities.

Increased fear and anxiety and inflamed racial and ethnic tensions among students is not the right track for America. That is why we are calling on you to apologize to America’s students and rethink your language and the effect it has on our students, our schools, our families and our communities.

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