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On today’s rundown, all eyes on the G.O.P. tax plan - labor groups say it’s not good for working families, and the view from Michigan is the likely loss of many services across the state; plus, report today on Black Friday and Native American Heritage Day

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Post-Election Harassment Reported in NC

Student anxiety and incidents of harassment have increased since the 2016 presidential election, according to a survey of school personnel. (Kim Davies/flickr.com)
Student anxiety and incidents of harassment have increased since the 2016 presidential election, according to a survey of school personnel. (Kim Davies/flickr.com)
December 8, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. – Reports of children telling their peers they'll be deported, and hateful graffiti and mail are surfacing in North Carolina and other states following the presidential election, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The center found in a survey of the nation’s educators that incidents of harassment at schools are on the rise.

Report author Maureen Costello, the center’s director of teaching tolerance, says 90 percent of respondents said the election has negatively affected their schools, and many reported disturbing behavior.

"Something that we heard over and over again are comments made to students perceived to be immigrants along the lines of 'Have you packed your bags?'” she relates. “'Are you ready to go home?' 'Guess we won't see you tomorrow.' So there's just been a lot of that kind of verbal harassment."

Eight in 10 educators surveyed said immigrant, Muslim and African-American students, as well as those who identify as LGBT, experience the greatest anxiety.

Costello notes the small percentage of schools reporting little impact are predominantly white, or have a history of developing welcoming, inclusive communities and programs that encourage empathy and compassion.

Costello says children who are anxious have a harder time learning, and she says parents can help address their concerns.

"Parents, I think, should, first of all, engage with their children and listen to them,” she states. “So, it's not just, 'How was school today?' But, 'Hey, I've heard about this. Is this happening at your school?'"

The report's recommendations for school leaders include making public statements to affirm school values and setting expectations about inclusion and respect.

The report also urges identifying students who are being targeted or whose emotional needs seem to have changed, and doubling down on anti-bullying strategies.

"It's sometimes hard to stand up to bullying, or to stand up to nasty things being said,” Costello states. “But you don't actually have to. What you just have to do is go over to the target, engage them in conversation and show that, you know, you're their friend."

More than 10,000 teachers, counselors and other school workers responded to the post-election survey.

That's up from 2,000 who took part in a similar poll in March when teachers overwhelming named now President-elect Donald Trump as the source of both student anxiety and bad behavior.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC