By Tim Devaney
May 5, 2016
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is promoting a “climate of bullying” in schools, the head of a teachers union supporting Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton said Thursday.
Teachers call it the “Trump effect.”
They say Trump’s rhetoric encourages violence and racism — not only on the campaign trail, but also in the classroom.
“Donald Trump appeals to the worst elements of our society,” American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten told reporters Thursday. His rhetoric “is really creating bullying and violence in schools."
Teachers have their work cut out for them to “help an entire generation of children recover from the hateful rhetoric he has aimed at immigrants, Muslims, Black Lives Matter activists,” Weingarten said.
“It is influencing our children and their behavior in schools, and making it much, much harder for us,” she said.
The AFT, the nation’s second-largest teachers union, endorsed Clinton last July.
Weingarten attacked Trump’s education policy Thursday during a press call organized by the Clinton campaign.
Not only has Trump’s rhetoric stirred bullying in schools, Weingarten said, but teachers are also concerned by his call for the elimination of the Education Department and his association with an allegedly fraudulent university.
"Donald Trump has a history of attacks on education and teachers,” said Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), a member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, who was also on the press call.
Trump suggested he “may cut Department of Education,” during an interview with “Fox News Sunday” last October.
More recently, Trump said he would “largely eliminate” the Education Department, but “you maybe want to have a little bit of tentacles out there.”
The presumptive Republican nominee is also facing criticism over the now-defunct Trump University, which is accused of defrauding real estate students. A lawsuit against the school is making its way through the courts.
Pocan accused Trump of "profiting off students and their futures."
He added, "Dangerous Donald is only looking out for himself."
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