Emails leaked by Wikileaks show an effort between the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to link GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump to promoting school bullying through the example of his political rhetoric.
As the Washington Examiner reports, in one email exchange, DNC operatives TJ Helmstetter and Luis Miranda discuss whether to refer to Trump as “Dangerous Donald.” While Helmstetter is cautious about using the term for fear of backlash from reporters on Twitter, Miranda responds, “Dangerous Donald is good. Let them complain…[W]e shouldn’t blink because a couple reporters get snarky.”
According to the Examiner:
The messages show that the DNC was providing the teachers union with research that the union would then present as its own. In a May 5 exchange, AFT operative John Ost told Miranda, “At request of DNC, [Randi Weingarten] is doing some press today re: Trump. We’ve been working with [Helmstetter]. Question: who can we connect with to get more background/research re: Trump? We want to shift gears and spend more time educating our members.”
Later that day, Jost told Miranda to send him, “Essentially anything you have — we have our exec council in next week and we want to give them info — labor, education, healthcare (we are the 2nd largest nurses Union), etc — we’d repurpose into [union] branded mailers/flyers.”
“Sounds good, we’ll dig in and send more your way,” Miranda replied.
The joint effort by both the DNC and the AFT was based on a survey of 2,000 teachers conducted by the leftwing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which prides itself on tracking extremists and hate groups. The group concluded that “the presidential campaign is having a profoundly negative impact on schoolchildren across the country.”
SPLC’s report, titled “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on our Schools,” says about the campaign:
It’s producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom. Many students worry about being deported.
Other students have been emboldened by the divisive, often juvenile rhetoric in the campaign. Teachers have noted an increase in bullying, harassment and intimidation of students whose races, religions or nationalities have been the verbal targets of candidates on the campaign trail.
Educators are perplexed and conflicted about what to do. They report being stymied by the need to remain nonpartisan but disturbed by the anxiety in their classrooms and the lessons that children may be absorbing from this campaign.
SPLC admits its “survey” was “not scientific,” and claims that “out of 5,000 total comments, more than 1,000 mentioned Donald Trump.” The organization provides the leading statements it gave to teachers who were asked to indicate whether they agreed or disagreed:
- There has been an increase in anti-immigrant sentiment at my school since the 2016 presidential campaign began.
- There has been an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment at my school since the 2016 presidential campaign began.
- I have heard an increase in uncivil political discourse at my school since the 2016 presidential campaign began.
- My students have expressed concern about what might happen to them or their families after the election.
Apparently none of the 2,000 teachers surveyed are reported to have expressed any concern about the example of moral corruption presented by the Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton.