A newly released poll conducted by the Institute For Social Policy and Understanding examines the current state of affairs for the American Muslim community under Trump. Some of the poll results are surprising, some not surprising at all, and some, while not surprising, are simply shocking. One of the not surprising but shocking findings involves how Muslim children are treated in school.
The poll found that Muslim children are far more likely to be the subject of bullying in public schools than are children who belong to some other faith, or who don’t identify with any particular faith.
That is kind of to be expected. Let’s face it. When we were kids, especially elementary school-aged kids, we mimicked our parents. Which means that if our parents had racist or other hateful opinions, many of us did too. Remember, I said this result wasn’t surprising, and many people could have probably answered correctly if asked to identify the religious group they think is subject to the most bullying in school.
But here is the shocking part. According to what respondents told the ISPU pollsters, one-quarter of instances of reported bullying involved a teacher or other school official.
As someone who has spent a good deal of his life at the front of a public school classroom I can tell you that there are times when students of all races and religions will complain that they are being picked on by a teacher. Often time those alleged incidents involve misunderstandings or misinterpretation of something a teacher said. But I can also tell you that, from witnessing the behavior of a very small minority of other teachers I worked with over the years that I have no doubt of the accuracy of the poll in this regard.
There is a persistent myth that teachers and public school officers are all liberals. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, in the last school where I worked, I would say the political inclinations of the staff split pretty close to right down the middle. So while there are plenty of liberal teachers, there are also plenty of Trump supporting faculty members in public schools. You would think that anyone, even a conservative Republican, who has received the education required to become a teacher would be above the level of a bullying Trump fanatic. But, as this poll affirms, you would be wrong.