- The Washington Times - Monday, December 5, 2016

A liberal nonprofit group dedicated to combating bigotry left out “hate crimes” committed against white students in a report titled “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the 2016 Presidential Election on Our Nation’s Schools.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center surveyed over 10,000 K-12 teachers after the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election. The group, working in tandem with the American Federation of Teachers, compiled a list of “hate incidents,” but readers who wanted to know whether white children were also harassed were not given existing data.

The Alabama-based group was recently asked by The New York Post what information it had on the following survey statement: “I have heard derogatory language or slurs about white students.”

The newspaper said an answer to its inquiry proved difficult to come by.

“SPLC initially said it was having a hard time getting the information ‘from the researchers,’” the Post reported Monday. “Pressed, SPLC spokeswoman Kirsten Bokenkamp finally revealed that ‘about 20 percent answered affirmatively to that question.’”

In short, roughly 2,000 educators reported incidents perpetrated against white students.

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Other feedback included:

  • Nine out of 10 educators reported a negative impact on students’ mood and behavior following the election.
  • Eight in 10 educators reported heightened anxiety on the part of marginalized students.
  • Four in 10 educators reported derogatory language directed at students of color, Muslims, immigrants and people based on gender or sexual orientation.

Hans Bader, a former Education Department civil rights attorney, told the newspaper that there is a simple reason why relevant information was excluded from SPLC’s final report: bias.

“They left that result out because it would not fit their ideological narrative,” Mr. Bader said. “It was deemed an inconvenient truth.”

The lawyer added that SPLC’s standards for what constitutes a hate crime would not hold up in a court of law, as it includes common rhetoric about contested political issues.

“It is simply ridiculous that SPLC treats ‘build the wall’ as hate rhetoric,” Mr. Bader said.

One anonymous teacher from Michigan told the group that white students were overhead saying, “build the wall; lock her up.” Another anonymous teacher from Indiana heard students tell strangers that President-elect Trump would throw them “back over the wall.”

A panel from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights responded to SPLC’s report last Friday by calling for increased federal funding for prosecuting hate crimes.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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