Trump IV – Will Bullying Become Protected Speech?
My last post, which was a re-blogging of an Education Week article, included a remark from a Trump spokesperson who indicated that the Office of Civil Rights might be changing its role. Here’s the quote in its entirety:
Gerard Robinson, a research fellow at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute and former state chief in Florida and Virginia… said Wednesday that Trump… could… discard another key piece of the Obama education legacy: The president-elect could significantly curb the role of the department’s office for civil rights when it comes to state and local policies… and thereby return that office’s role more to how it operated under Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. That could have a big impact on everything from action on school-discipline disparities, to transgender students’ rights. Robinson also said that he expects the office for civil rights to ensure that students’ rights are not “trampled on.”
So here’s my question for Mr. Trump: he’s often made snide public remarks about the “liberals” insistence on “politically correct” speech… a remark he often makes after lambasting a minority group, immigrants, women, or another marginalized group. How will you come down on the question of bullying?
On the day after the election many schools noted a spike in the kind of conduct that would typically result in a trip to the office or a reprimand: crude and vulgar ad hominem remarks about Hispanics, blacks, women, and handicapped students. When this kind of bullying takes place, will the Office of Civil rights view it as a student;s right to express him or herself? I am glad I am not disciplining high school students in this day and age… for the students I dealt often challenged me when I insisted that they not use vulgarity, defending their action because the teacher or another student swore at them first… and I even had parents protesting because the language I was objecting to was acceptable in their home. When a student makes an offensive remark to a female or taunts a handicapped student or insults a minority student or a person who has a different religious practice I imagine their defense will be that “President Trump did it why can’t I?” If you don’t think this will happen, you haven’t worked for six years as a disciplinarian in a HS…