Teachers in California are struggling to calm children down about the election of Donald Trump.
At Bay View Elementary in San Pablo, for instance, the East Bay Times reports that a teacher “held what’s called a ‘restorative circle’ with about 24 of her students. They each took turns holding a yellow ball and expressed a gamut of emotions from happiness and sadness to despair to hopelessness about the future.”
The students described in the article are nine years old. It is unclear whether any were allowed to express emotions other than fear and despair.
In some cases, rather than prepare children for the election by explaining that there are two parties, and that one party cannot win all of the time, educators either passively or actively allowed students to believe that one side represented Light and Truth, while the other side represented The End of the World.
The Palm Springs Desert Sun, for example, reported before the election:
For some teachers, this election causes them pause. Forty-three percent of teachers surveyed said they were hesitant to teach about the 2016 presidential election and some reported avoiding the subject altogether, according to theSPLC. But for others, the election is a call to action.
Two weeks ago, 10 former state and national Teachers of the Year published an open letter acknowledging the tradition of political neutrality in the classroom but saying that to remain silent would be to become morally complicit. The letter described Trump as a “danger to our society in general and to our students in particular.”
The result, after Election Day: anger, fear, and outrage among children who have been ill-prepared for the result.
High school students in Palo Alto, for example, disrupted traffic on Monday afternoon — and had clearly been misinformed about the election and the positions of the candidates.
One 16-year-old told the San Jose Mercury News:
DeMartini said the discourse during the campaign and Trump’s ideals affect her personally as a young woman of this generation, and that it goes against all the advances for women her own mom fought for years ago.
“I’m learning in history class about women’s rights,” DeMartini said, “and I’m more aware now of how the decisions people in power make affect women. It’s scary.”
Students have staged walkouts across the Bay Area and in Los Angeles to protest the results of the election. While police have warned that students who leave school can be arrested, teachers and principals have tolerated, and in some cases encouraged, the demonstrations.
One student told the Mercury News about the traffic disruption: “Our school’s motto is ‘Strength in Diversity,’ … Our principal told us today she’d support us and provide a safe space for us to express ourselves. It felt really, really good to do something.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.