Trump & U.S. Public School Children  
Explaining Trump to Public School Children


(This is a developing story and will be updated on a regular basis.)




The Fall Blog 2016
(Updated in May of 2017) 
​By Stephanie Leigh Robinson
  
I certainly hope school officials explain the presidential election to their students, especially to their white students who are attacking nonwhites --- or who think that the Trump win means white racism won the day.  In other words,  Americans must continue to believe in their participatory rights and call out racism where they find it --- anything less undermines our democracy.

Here’s what parents and community stakeholders should do when President Trump promotes racism, etc. They should place 100 pennies on a table and give the Trump voters approximately 25 pennies. They should then divide these 25 pennies by 2 and give the voters who are only interested in jobs but not in white supremacist ideals an extra
penny or 13 pennies. (Keep in mind that many low information voters did not know and still do not know that President Obama tried to support these voters time and time again through his employment   bills and/or legislation focusing on jobs, etc.   But,  due to obstructionism   by conservative leaders  such as "McConnell" etc.), Trump's voters  were sacrificed and allowed to suffer for 8 long years in the name of bigotry against President Obama, the first African American President of the United States of Amerca.)

These students should also know that almost half of the U.S. eligible voters did not bother
to show up and vote for Trump  at all  or ever (place 47 pennies in the pile with the 13
pennies) --- not even during the primaries ( probably due to the inaccurate polls that showed Clinton was going to easily win based on the American standards for the presidency in contrast to Trump's standards or his derogatory behavior). They should then consider all of the voters who did vote for Clinton, Johnson and Stein (Place the remaining pennies in this pile, too) --- which leaves Trump with only 12 pennies, (or the smallest pile of pennies) for the racist side of this equation --- or the part that is scaring children and most Americans, if not the whole world.

So, what should school representatives tell children about President Trump? Is it even possible for politicians and school officials to support education as a bi-partisan effort if the president promotes racist views --- views that overlook "democracy and its ideals" and, thus, its importance throughout the world? What do parents say to young children about the hard-core racist and  misogynist statements that Trump has already made against so many Americans (women, Mexicans, African Americans, the Disabled, Muslims, etc.), as a man who is  expected to lead and serve an entire nation? How do they explain his loyalists such as Sessions, Bannon, Flynn, etc., who are known by their racist statements --- and/or why Trump chose them to serve all Americans in the first place when they have no history in doing so?

Moreover, how do parents and community stakeholders explain Trump's inability to quickly
denounce the Ku Klux Klan and their racist history? In other words, if "facts are to be 
submitted to a candid world," how does he, as president-elect, intend to make America great
again without sound race relations in mind? How will he support diversity and equality? How is he supporting social inclusion now (based on his racist past with housing laws) or ensuring that the U.S. is a place welcoming place for diverse people --- as people the world over tend to see it? Is it possible for him to condemn racist policies and actions such as “Stop and Frisk,” a policy that has been declared unconstituional since it singles out black and brown boys and men, unfairly? Is it possible for him to represent all citizens of the United States of America, which, in turn, means understanding the U.S. Constitution,  a must-do requirement for the job of the presidency or for someone who is expected to lead a nation, not in an off the cuff fashion, but as someone who genuinely wants to serve a democracy?   

And, what about  DeVos who has been criticized for placing children in failing charter schools
without recognizing  that school effectiveness is far more important than school choice or a market ethic applied to the "public" school syste --- which works against democratic ideals based on social equality? (Note: School choice is not synonymous with school effectiveness.) Will she continue to mislead parents into moving their children from one failing school to another one without understanding why school effectiveness is the chief basis for student achievement? 

On the other hand, will President Trump support Secretary DeVos in challenging the teachers' unions and support teacher effectiveness in all schools, a goal that has yet to be achieved (and the real cause for school choice in the minds of many parents who want to get away from their unfair, political practices)? Will Trump/DeVos serve the educational needs of children and support gold standard studies, a necessary goal if high, quality choice options pertaining to vouchers, charter schools, priviate schools, etc. are to be be substantiated or validated based on the standards for high performing schools? If so, will Trump/DeVos welcome the opportunity to encourage parents (who believe in the ESSA school choice provisions) to build their knowledge base, which includes but is not limited to: asking pertinent questions about school quality overall, including understanding a school's accomplishments or the basis for its rating (without school leader's trying to hide it), etc.

If so, parents will be able to work collaboratively with state and local school officials who promote school choice programs by ensuring that they do have access to meaningful information responding to their own educational goals for their child. This approach begins with equity and excellence tied to responsiveness in which school offiicals are held accountable for student test results based on objective accountability measures. This approach to ESSA then is based on transparency and accountability in school governance, discourse. and decision-making and moves beyond any "off the cuff" opinions by politicians. This approach makes ever effort to ensure that all stakeholders are making informed decisions about all of their  educational options. These are necessary steps, if not cautionary ones that will prevent parents and community stakeholders from sending their children to failing schools.  

We have made so much progress under President Obama as a nation --- so returning to
time in history when morality was ignored on so many different levels (with  clear-cut examples from  the president-elect) will take some explaining when it comes to children. Ostensibly, most Americans have moved beyond the time when whites were afraid of level playing fields or needed to discriminate against people of color to attain their goals. Most
of us, therefore, see no reason to give up on this nation or to think that it will ever return to
a time when its ideals were not upheld ---- or when as a nation, its leaders made the wrong
decisions from a civilized world's standards (Consider Slavery or the Jim Crow eras, etc.) 
So, we. . . (just like so many other Americans in the past such as MLK, etc.) --- still believe, (sometimes in spite of appearances, or obstructionism in all its forms) that we can (Obama)
(" hold its truths to be self-evident , that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." American children, of course, have been taught the meaning of these words over and over again but what do we tell them when the president-elect acts and says things that are not representative of America?

We must tell them that, as Americans, we will always believe in the United States of America 
in spite of Trump who, (unlike President Obama), continues to question if not distort 
America's greatness by trying to create racial and religious divisions among Americans. We must tell them that as the protests increase and grow around the nation and world --- they are, without question, a sign --- that the center is holding or democracy has not been touched --- in spite of the misguided nature of Trump and other white conservatives --- who lack the leadership abilities to understand what it means to lead in a global world.  Clearly, they alone (even as their followers desert them) have chosen to overlook, on the most basic level ever, whether they like it or not, the fact that they are, of course, sharing the planet with other human beings who have every human right to expect the best treatment from their leaders --- a concept even children understand.

We must, therefore, tell children that the adults in their lives will always trandscend or go beyond Trump's one dimensional, conceptual range (in their analysis of his policies) and/or his limited decision-making experience by  "supporting" what this nation truly stands for or its peaceful ideals --- and/or  its highest ideals even if the people with the 12 pennies do not.
When children hear about these things they must, instead, remember that the vast majority of America people "will always believe" in America's highest ideals. They, too must support this important point --- and when they do  --- there certainly will not be any need or reason for them to be afraid at all.  From this perspective, they simply need to remain focused on what America truly represents or how it became a world leader in the first place. 

They must keep in mind that the vast majority of Americans, based on the popular vote,
will continue to reject  Trump's ideas or his world views if they are not based on the Constitution of the United States of America. In other words, the vast majority of American people  do believe in everyone's fundamental rights. They do want to make sure that everyone is treated fairly and equally, which are " all ideas" emphasized and supported by the U.S. Constitution.  In recognition of this purpose then --- and --- with all due respect to President Trump, all children, everywhere, no matter who they are must learn and remember this basic truth:   "The Constitution begins and ends with: We the People."