Teachers told their students everything would be OK after the election. Now, they’re not so sure

Nov 21, 2016 by

For months leading up to the presidential election, elementary school teacher Ingrid Villeda tried to instill in her students a certain faith in democracy.

The 18-year veteran of L.A. Unified’s schools looked for simple ways to decode the ugly back-and-forths on TV. She taught her fifth-graders about the virtues of a democratic nation in which ordinary citizens study the candidates’ policy positions and then choose their leaders. She wore suffragette white on election day and told them the story of how women fought for and won the right to vote.

Within the walls of Villeda’s school, 93rd Street Elementary, where roughly three-quarters of the students are Latino, Donald J. Trump and his vow to deport millions of immigrants living in the country illegally seemed far away and fictional. That is, until the morning after the election, when Villeda’s students ran to her in the schoolyard, the sleepless night written on their faces.

“People really don’t like us?” asked a girl from Mexico. “What are we going to do about that?”

Source: Teachers told their students everything would be OK after the election. Now, they’re not so sure

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