Bullies Parrot Trump's Rhetoric On Immigrants, Minorities: Report
WASHINGTON, DC — President Donald Trump’s often harsh rhetoric about immigrants has increased bullying based on race or ethnicity in local schools across the country, according to a report by The Washington Post.
The Post’s analysis found that of 28,000 news stories mentioning Trump since 2016, “Trump’s words, those chanted by his followers at campaign rallies and even his last name have been wielded by students and school staff members to harass children more than 300 times.” The report said “at least three-quarters of the attacks were directed at kids who are Hispanic, black or Muslim.”
The story cites multiple incidents of biased-based bullying, including one in which a 12-year-old Mexican American boy who was told by a classmate “all Mexicans should go back behind the wall.” The next day, the 13-year-old who hurled the taunt beat up the boy and his mother, who was knocked unconscious, according to the family’s attorney, Daniel Santiago, who wondered to what extent Trump’swords emboldened the teen to bully.
“When the president goes on TV and is saying things like Mexicans are rapists, Mexicans are criminals — these children don’t have the cognitive ability to say, ‘He’s just playing the role of a politician,’ ” Santiago told The Post. “The language that he’s using matters.”
Read the full story on The Washington Post.
When Patch launched its “Menace of Bullies” national advocacy reporting project two years ago, Trump had been president for about a year. Nicholas Carlisle, the founder and executive director of the leading anti-bullying organization No Bully, said kids take their cues from the adult conversations around them.
“As we look at the level of political discourse, which has become degraded in the United States, we see correlations between that and increased levels of bullying in schools,” he said. “We have to be good role models for our kids, and that includes everyone, including our national leaders.”
Frederick Rivara, one of the authors of a 2016 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report that called on health officials to treat bullying as a major public health issue, agrees.
“When the elected officials are guilty of harassment and bullying … it’s important for parents to point out that’s not right,” Rivara said.
“This is not just a part of growing up,” he said. “This is behavior that is harmful. We as responsible adults need to try to educate our kids into not doing it.”
As part of a national reporting project, Patch has been looking at society’s roles and responsibilities in bullying and a child’s unthinkable decision to end their own life in hopes we might offer solutions that save lives.
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