Updated to include more resources.

Since the presidential election, there has been an uptick in bullying nationwide. Many teachers and staff  have reported feelings of fear, tension and actions that appear to amplify a message of hate and intolerance in schools.

At a local, state, and national level, we want to support you in maintaining safe and supportive learning environments for all of our students. Please check out the resources below and contact Nikhol Atkins at natkins@aftmichigan.org if you hear of instances of post-election bullying at your school or campus.

Here’s an example from a Title I teacher in Colorado: “The majority of students I work with are students of color, some whose parents were not born in this country and some who were not born here themselves. To look them in the eye and tell them that they will be safe was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do because, in reality, I don’t know that.”

The AFT’s Share My Lesson is working in concert with partner groups to roll out a collection of resources and lesson plans that can help frontline educators tackle post-election challenges, promote frank dialogue with students and families, and safeguard a tone of civility and mutual respect in the classroom.

Locals across the state, in K-12 and Higher Ed, are working with students, parents, and community groups to take action and show all students they are welcome in our schools.

The resources in this new collection feature a lesson from the Anti-Defamation League that can help students reflect on their thoughts and feelings—as well as those of their classmates—and express those sentiments in a letter to the president-elect. Colorín Colorado is providing post-election information, activities and advice for educators and Spanish-speaking families of English language learners. A lesson from the Global Oneness Project showcases the values that contribute to a healthy democracy, and Teach Immigration details an outreach project and lesson plan focusing on the immigration community. The collection also contains rebroadcasts of a webinar on anti-bullying strategies, resources from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and much more—with new materials added each week.

This collection is constantly expanding and evolving to meet the needs identified by educators in the field. AFT members and locals are encouraged to contribute lessons and materials that can be effective post-election supports in classrooms, schools and communities. Just register, log in and upload—you’ll be helping colleagues across the country who face similar challenges and opportunities. And remember, it is during times like these that our students rely on us to be role models and leaders the most.

We will also work with our partners to develop a list of Michigan-based resources (please make suggestions in the comments below):

  •  Lena Kamal, Esq., Safe Spaces Coordinator of Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan Chapter (CAIR-MI), lkamal@cair.com

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