American election season has always been a highly charged time, and this particular election has brought up a lot of feelings for a lot of people. School communities can feel this very deeply. Students may have many questions and big worries, and school leaders may wonder how to support them and ensure that their campus remains a safe, welcoming and inclusive learning environment. Students have the right to feel safe at their schools, and it’s the job of the adults on campus to create and maintain that culture of safety.
This article from Teaching Tolerance discusses how teachers can help students process their feelings and concerns regarding the outcome of the election, while maintaining a safe, welcoming and inclusive classroom environment.
Here is Austin ISD’s district anti-harassment and discrimination policy, and our anti-bullying policy. School leaders can use these as a basis to ensure that any kind of hateful acts or language are met with swift and unequivocal administrative action.
Here is a lesson designed with middle school students in mind that can be adapted to class time constraints and needs. Learning intentions include helping students understand how the three branches of the United States government check and balance each other, and inviting students to share their views, concerns, and voices for the next president in respectful, powerful ways.
Young people on campuses may be worried about issues surrounding immigration and deportation. Resources that schools might share with students and families include:
American Gateways, which “provides free and low-cost legal services and education to promote justice for immigrants and refugees in Central Texas.”
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center, which also distributes these Red Cards so that families can know their legal rights under the US Constitution, which apply to everyone currently in the United States regardless of immigration status.
The Immigrant Defense Project, which works to protect and expand the rights of all immigrants.
When educators, school leaders and communities pull together for safe educational environments, our children thrive and learn. Thank you for being safeguards of learning and powerful allies to AISD students and families. We are #AISDProud of all our students, and #AllMeansAll, all the time!