On Tuesday, December 13, Richmond Teachers for Social Justice and the Richmond Peace Education Center will co-sponsor a panel and discussion on the impacts of the presidential election on schools and classrooms. The program, which is open to the public, will be held at 5:00-6:30 p.m., at Fifth Baptist Church, 1415 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23220.
In the days immediately following the election, 90% of educators who responded to a survey from the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that the recent election has had negative impacts on school climate. Specific concerns included increased harassment and derogatory language, as well as heightened anxiety among groups of students such as immigrants, LGBTQ youth, Muslims, and African Americans. Almost half of the respondents did not think their school had specific action plans in place to address these issues.
In addition, many teachers feel uncomfortable discussing the election with their students, given the particularly emotional nature of responses to this campaign and the risk of being accused of bringing politics into the classroom.
Tuesday’s discussion is intended to give educators and others an opportunity to share observations from their own schools and generate action plans for moving forward. We will discuss classroom practices that might address the concerns above, and ensure that instruction can continue to help develop democratic citizenship skills.
We will also discuss how school and district-level policies might help support educators as they pursue these goals. Richmond Teachers for Social Justice views this program as the starting point for conversations that will continue during their meetings throughout the spring. We hope local educators, parents, and interested members of the public will join us, and invite others!
Location: Fifth Baptist Church, 1415 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23220
Date: Tuesday, December 13
Light refreshments will be served.