National Center for Youth Law


Ensuring Students Are Safe from Trump Inspired Hate

Together with key partners, the National Center for Youth Law is leading a campaign that ensures school districts protect vulnerable students from harassment, bullying and intimidation.

All students deserve to feel safe and respected at school. Beginning with the 2016 Presidential campaign this issue has taken on a greater sense of urgency as vulnerable students, especially girls, students of color, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, and LGBTQ students, have been subjected to significantly increased bullying, harassment and intimidation. Through this project we will provide advocacy to harassed students who attend school districts that are not doing enough to protect them from Trump inspired hate.

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The unprecedented racism, sexism and xenophobia that emanated from the 2016 Trump campaign sent a powerful signal across the nation: it was once again okay to publicly bully, harass and intimidate vulnerable populations. Not only did adults hear the signal, young people did too. In the months leading up to the election and in the time since, there has been a significant rise in the number of students targeted because of their gender, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. Before the election we received reports of students telling Latino and Muslim students they will be deported or killed if Trump wins. Since the election we have received reports of male students threatening to grab female students by their genitals.

Apart from the immediate trauma of these incidents, research indicates that students who are bullied have trouble focusing in school and are more likely to become truant and dropout. Bullying not only impacts those students directly targeted, it creates an environment in which all students feel unsafe. While many schools have responded quickly and appropriately, instituting policies and practices that ensure student dignity is protected and valued, a relatively small number of school districts have turned a blind eye or even been complicit. NCYL is committed to litigating when school districts fail to stop harassment and bullying until all students are safe in school.

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