Parents, school leaders discuss politics in the classroom

Students are reacting Donald Trump's win
Posted at 5:55 PM, Nov 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-11 17:55:18-05

From protests to social media posts, it's the end of what's been a long week of politics. Now parents are trying to figure out how to talk to their kids about it. 

For those who aren't old enough to vote, some of the loudest and most demonstrative opinions are coming out of the classroom.

One school counselor told ABC2 News it's important to teach children about considering other kids' feelings before acting out. 

From Illinois to Michigan, students are voicing their opinions on the outcome of this year's presidential election, but some are wondering what's too far. 

"This was a really emotionally charged election and clearly after the most events, you know, we have people on both sides. We have some people who are very happy with the results and some people who are very upset with results," Dr. Hope Baier, a counselor with the Baltimore County school district, said. 

She says it's a challenge in this day and age to keep kids from politics, but there should be a level of respect.

"Discussions that they've had at home, material that they see on TV, comes in with them and so it's incumbent upon the schools to really be available and ready to address these issues," Baier said. 

The tense reactions even made it into Baltimore County schools after Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance retweeted a post that called for educators to show love to minority students -- a response to President-elect Donald Trump's successful election.

"We have to unify together for the greater good. Causing any type of separation takes us back. It doesn't push forward. It only opens up that divide that's already there, that we're already struggling with," Rebecca Wiseman, a parent, said. 

Wiseman's two kids were enrolled in Baltimore County schools up until last May. She says the superintendent's post did more harm than good and said the tweet should've included everyone.

"To be safe and comfortable to come forward through this difficult time would be more appropriate. We don't what someone is actually is going through and honestly we can't look at somebody, on the physical, and know every ethnic gene that they have," she said.
Dr. Baier says it's important to let students know it's OK to have differing opinions and respect one another. 
"We have to be able to teach them those critical life skills of respect, and tolerance, and acceptance and really looking at each situation and say 'what can I do to promote a sense of community, to bring people together, to disagree respectfully," she said. 

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