Since the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. Presidency, there has been a sharp rise in harassment and even violence against school students, staff, and teachers of color. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights advocacy organization, after the election, K-12 teachers across the countryreported an upswing in verbal harassment, the use of slurs and derogatory language, challenges to students’ perceived legal status, threats of deportation, and disturbing incidents involving swastikas, Nazi salutes, hanging roped nooses, and Confederate flags.
Districts are forced to send out e-mails to parents, warning them about this disturbing trend, and asking parents to have important discussions with their children, in order to put a stop to these incidents. District staff are undergoing team meetings, or professional development, on how to address the increased racist, anti-Semitic, and misogynistic rhetoric and harassment in the classroom.
But what about subs? Are they getting training? What is a substitute expected to do when a racist incident arises in class? Who do they report it to?
There are two reasons that substitutes need to be proactively trained on how to deal with “The Trump Effect” in the classroom:
Protecting our children. If a substitute hasn’t been trained or prepared, the likely outcome is that the target victim is left vulnerable and unassisted. The classroom is no longer a safe space for the target. The perpetrator becomes emboldened. These messages will not be lost on the rest of the classroom.
Setting expectations for substitutes about their own conduct in the classroom. There have been reports of substitutes who have subjected students to racist harassment, particularly targeting Latino children in the classroom. Proper substitute recruiting and training weeds out those prospective substitutes who cannot abide by the tone of respect and tolerance set by a school district. The expectation has been set, and the substitute now knows the school is paying attention.
The bottom line—when substitutes are prepared and trained for these more complicated issues, they can provide consistent support for the district’s goal in providing a safe space for all students.
If you’d like to find out how SubWorksPro recruits talented subs, and trains them to provide academic and emotional consistency in the classroom, contact us at:
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