A new report by John Rogers, director of the Institute for Democracy, Education and Access at the University of California at Los Angeles, indicates that the divisiveness of the Trump era has sent student stress rates skyrocketing. More than half of the public school teachers surveyed reported ”high levels of stress and anxiety” in their students between January, when Trump took office, and May.
The report, entitled: ”Teaching and Learning in the Age of Trump: Increasing Stress and Hostility in America’s High Schools,” indicated that nearly 80% of teachers reported ”that their students have expressed concerns for their well-being or the well-being of their families associated with recent public policy discourse on one or more hot-button issues, including immigration, travel limitations on predominantly Muslim countries, restrictions on LGBTQ rights, changes to health care, or threats to the environment.” Forty-four percent of teachers reported that ”students’ concerns about well-being in relation to one or more hot-button policy issues impacted students’ learning—their ability to focus on lessons and their attendance.”
This report concerns me greatly, because it suggests that the American public schools’ mandate to teach civics and good citizenship may be eroding as students begin to lose respect for the democratic process that elected Trump and brought these policies about. Will we soon have a new ”disorder” – TRSD (Trump Related Stress Disorder)?
For more information about the state of American education, see my book If Einstein Ran the Schools: Revitalizing U.S. Education.
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