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Election 2016: “What are kids learning from this presidential election?”

NPR’s Anya Kamenetez dives into the scope of politics in her piece “What Are Kids Learning From This Presidential Election?,” but this time through the eyes of the children of America. Kamenetez opens up the article by recounting a story of a third grader, Victor Reza, watching the CNN GOP debate who teared up when Donald Trump was announced as the winner of the Florida Republican primary. Reza fears for members of his immediate family who are undocumented.

“I don’t want him [Trump] to win,” he said. “If he wins, I’m never going to see any of you again.”

Kamenetez goes on to write that Trump and other candidates have used “language that wouldn’t be acceptable in most classrooms,” which isn’t an inaccurate statement; the entirety of the debates (on both parties) have been filled with slander.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal-leaning advocacy organization, asked 2,000 teachers to weigh in on the question concerning if Trump was to win the presidency. More than two-thirds reported that “students — especially immigrants, first-generation students and Muslims — have expressed fears about what might happen to them or their families after the election.”

A Tennessee kindergarten teacher wrote:

“Kindergarten students look at their English-Language Learning peers and tell them that ‘they will get [de]ported soon and never come back because there’s going to be a big wall to keep kids with brown skin out.’ Imagine the fear in my students’ eyes when they look to me for the truth? One student asks every day, ‘Is the wall here yet?’ In over 20 years of working with young children, I have never witnessed anything like it.”

A teacher who teaches social studies in the sixth grade has stated that Trump has been used as a connection in his curriculum.

“Trump has been the gift that keeps on giving in my class, he’s been compared to Pericles, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar — any sort of game-changing ruler,” they said. “When we look at Athenian democracy and some of the flaws, that democracy, if it’s not led by people who are educated, can fall prey to demagogues, a lot of kids pipe up: ‘Sound familiar?'”

The fact that children from the ages of eight and up are scared for the future of not only their families, but also the future of their own country is a frightening reality. If children can see the absolute ludicrous and hateful ideas that are being spout out by the nominees, what stops the rest of the world from seeing the severity of the situation we are currently in? These children are the future of the country and if they are scared for what is to come then the future of this country is an uncertain one.

Source: Kamenetez, Anya. “What Are Kids Learning From This Presidential Election?” NPR.
NPR, 19 Apr. 2016. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.