Editorial: Discussion, flexibility belong in classrooms in light of election results

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Editorial: Discussion, flexibility belong in classrooms in light of election results

Credit: Dragon Press Editorial Board

Credit: Dragon Press Editorial Board

Credit: Dragon Press Editorial Board

Credit: Dragon Press Editorial Board

The Foothill Dragon Press

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Here is what we know. We know that more than 70 percent of Foothill students did not want a Trump presidency. We know that across the country, minority groups are being faced with violence and discrimination. These groups and the 70 percent overlap. In our community, a victory for some has been a devastating loss for many.

Many of us on the Dragon Press have found ourselves stunned and lost – we catch ourselves staring at our feet and thinking about the future, hearing the radio but not really listening, reading poetry, doing mundane tasks to distract ourselves, and most importantly, contemplating. Some of us have sat at the dinner table and talked for hours with our families.

Thinking, researching and discussing is the healthiest thing we can do. However, we feel that teachers everywhere should be taking extra care to support students in these tough times, especially minority students who directly deal with the ramifications of America’s decision.

We understand the need for rigorous study, but this week is different. Now is the time for activism, research, rallies, resting and creating art. It is a time for us to evaluate what it means to be an American and for us to deeply examine human nature. With all due respect, calculus, APUSH, physics and physiology have been pushed to the back burner for some students.

Regardless of political ideology, teachers should respect students’ time to process their emotions. They will resist regardless of whether or not it is allowed or encouraged by their school’s administration. To refuse to acknowledge that is to say that activism, compassion and political involvement have no place in school, which is a statement we vehemently disagree with.

We believe there should be flexibility in the classroom this week, whether that is holding socratic discussions, allowing students to make up points from assignments they fell behind on this week or speaking with them at lunch.

In general, teachers at Foothill have been doing a great job. But these concepts apply to places of education across the country. Not all teachers are as respectful as ours.

Thank you a million times over to the teachers who have taken time out of their schooldays to talk about the election, and who have created respectful safe spaces for minority students. Thank you to the teachers who have put political bias aside in favor of collective discussion.

But please, go the extra mile. Support students who need to be with their families. Support students who are out on the streets rallying. Support students of color, LGBT+ students, Muslim students, disabled students and young women. Support students who don’t know what to think and need time.

Support them not only with your words but with your actions, and do not penalize them for being invested in this democracy.

 

Editorials reflect a majority opinion of the Editorial Review Board and are written collaboratively.

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