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It’s The Children Who Are Being Bullied

Since Mr. Trump’s election, the Southern Poverty Law Center has received more than 430 reports of bullying, harassment and racist displays around the country. “We haven’t seen this volume in the United States in decades, with the exception of the wave of anti-Muslim incidents that followed 9/11,” said Ryan Lenz, a spokesman for the center. They include real and painful episodes at secondary schools and colleges. While I do not wish to blame the president-elect, his rhetoric during the debates and during the campaign have unleashed some crazies and gives others license to do the same.

Social media and the television networks are spreading the hate. In Minnesota where racist graffiti has appeared in a high school or Pennsylvania where white students were filmed walking through a school with a Trump sign yelling, “White Power”, this behavior is unacceptable. Muslim students have been attacked. At the University of Michigan, a man told a student that if she did not take off her hijab he would he would set her on fire with a lighter.

Children are the most fragile of our society. Who gets bullied? Those who are poor, or rich or members of the LGBTQ community or religious or ethnic minorities or those who are fat or those who are skinny, are targeted. But the largest groups who are targeted are those with disabilities or are gay. In other words, Everyone.

 

President-elect Trump was asked about this on “60 Minutes” Mr. Trump the perpetrators should stop. But he also played down the damage, “I think it’s a very small amount.” Any amount of racist hate is too much. The incoming first lady, Melania Trump on November 13, 2016 promised to be an “advocate for women and for children”.  Now is the time for Mr. Trump and Mrs. Trump and other political leaders (governors, Senators, and Representatives) to rise to the occasion and condemn this hatred. Parents and students also need to take a vigorous stand condemning these words and these racist actions.

 

America is watching.

 

I will be delivering workshops in Albuquerque, Dallas, South Carolina and Georgia about what schools, parents and children can do to stop bullying. Visit my website, www.schargel.com for more details.

 

 

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