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Trump, racism and Year 1

(35 Posts)
icanteven Thu 10-Nov-16 13:03:13

Yesterday my 5yo came out of school talking about "the president", Trump and how her teacher told them that he is a bad man and hates brown people (we are in the UK).

Now, all of this is completely fair enough (although I do think that anti-Trump feeling has descended into hysteria on social media, and that maybe people should look to Clinton's dignity here, but that's a side note), but this is the first time my 5yo has encountered the idea of racism or skin colour being any more relevant than the clothes we wear. She has observed the different skin colours of children in her class from time to time, but she has never felt it relevant to mention that her teacher is black, for example. So to jump from skin colour not being a "thing" at all, to a foreign president-elect having a specific problem with non-white people was a bit of a leap for her. I think she was just politely surprised, more than anything else - she definitely didn't follow what was going on, because well, she's FIVE.

She doesn't know what a president is (although she knows we don't like the idea of a monarchy!), she just about knows what America is (she has citizenship, but has only been twice), she definitely hadn't heard of Trump before, and racism was just baffling. She wondered what it was all about, and I explained that in most countries you can only be president for so long, and it was time for America to choose their next one, but that some people don't like the new person, and think that he makes bad choices. I didn't broach the racism element, and she didn't ask. I think she just felt that bit was too off-topic for her to really follow anyway.

So, AIBU to talk to her teacher about maybe pitching politics a bit more simply to 5 year olds? Or just find out more about what she told them? I don't think it was a particularly appropriate subject.

Lndnmummy Thu 10-Nov-16 13:05:34

This is terrible of the teacher! My son who is in reception and brown would have been really upset about this.

icanteven Thu 10-Nov-16 13:10:10

Lndnmummy Okay - that's what I thought too. The teacher is black herself, so obv. not clueless on the subject of race relations, but although there aren't any black children in the class, they're a pretty international group, and several dark-skinned children probably went home asking their parents if Trump hates them!

RoseGoldHippie Thu 10-Nov-16 13:11:31

I don't think it's maybe the best idea to say that a bad man was elected and doesn't like brown people. Not to a group of 5 year olds!

I would speak to her YANBU

PigletWasPoohsFriend Thu 10-Nov-16 13:13:35

YANBU. I would certainly complain.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 10-Nov-16 13:14:55

If the teacher brought up the subject then as reported it sounds inappropriate. However, its possible that a kid raised it and the conversation developed further than it perhaps should have

toastytoastbear Thu 10-Nov-16 13:17:28

hell no, being told a 'bad man' was now in charge of America would have really scared me at 5! I was an emotional wreck v sensitive then

LittleLionMansMummy Thu 10-Nov-16 13:18:13

I think politics is extremely hard for 5 year olds to comprehend, yes. But we've taken our 5yo ds to polling stations and done our best to explain what it's all about in age appropriate terms (e.g. a prime minister is the one who leads a country and sets the rules - some people will agree, others won't). I sort of think it's my job to explain to ds how the world works and that democracy is important and I think the earlier you can introduce them to a social conscience the better. As for racism, ds has a rudimentary understanding of it and I have taken time to explain it in simple terms as well as that it is not acceptable - our family values embrace difference in looks and beliefs etc. He gets it, but hasn't really been exposed to the evidence of it and how badly it affects people. But at 5, children do begin to form opinions based on appearance (be it 'fat', 'thin', 'beautiful' or whatever) and we've decided to talk to him about differences to avoid him growing up ignorant. It really does depend on the child though - ds has quite a mature level of awareness of the world around him.

Where the teacher may have made a mistake is in complicating and mixing the two issues at this age. It's quite an advanced concept - as well as a very subjective one - to inflict on young children imo.

RoseGoldHippie Thu 10-Nov-16 13:18:45

As wrong as it is and as much as I don't think 5 year olds would mean it in a racist way, I can see this being used as a bullying method on the playground. A bit like my dad could beat up your dad, if you know what I mean.

RoseGoldHippie Thu 10-Nov-16 13:19:31

The hebdoesnt like brown people comment ^^ref my last post -sorry!

Aeroflotgirl Thu 10-Nov-16 13:20:33

I would complain, very unprofessional and inappropriate of the teacher to do this.

tabulahrasa Thu 10-Nov-16 13:22:00

I'd check though - who started the conversation? Because of the teacher was reacting to children's comments or questions, that's different to her introducing the topic.

Some of the class may well have come into school having overheard things from home and it's gone from there rather than the teacher sitting the class down and going, OK, today this has happened...

Prawnofthepatriarchy Thu 10-Nov-16 13:23:14

Expressing her own anxiety about Trump to a bunch of 5 year olds was unkind and irresponsible of your DCs teacher. YANBU to complain. I kept the news in general: wars, famines, crime etc away from my kids until quite a lot older than that.

user1477282676 Thu 10-Nov-16 13:23:24

Teachers aren't allowed to impress their own political beliefs on their students. She's broken the rules even if we all agree with her!

Isitadoubleentendre Thu 10-Nov-16 13:25:19

Im a teacher and if she did actually say that, then that is completely out of order.

I havent had to bring up the election but if I did I would never say that, even with kids much older than 5. It would be more along the lines of 'some people don't like some things that he has said and think he is a bit of a bully' and if the kids were older maybe outline some of those things. But not as blunt as 'he is a bad man who hates brown people'. It's too simplistic for kids who will take it so literally.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Thu 10-Nov-16 13:26:30

I think it is highly inappropriate for teachers to bring their politics into school and especially with such young children.

winterisnigh Thu 10-Nov-16 13:27:46

Go and talk to the teacher about HC "super predator comment"

I think you should raise it with the teacher, its disgraceful.

Isitadoubleentendre Thu 10-Nov-16 13:28:40

And I do think you should raise it with the teacher as well.

winterisnigh Thu 10-Nov-16 13:30:14

Williams also said she sought an apology from Clinton for the "damage that she’s done to black communities."

"I thought that quote was important not only because it was her own words, but because that was her pathologizing black youth as these criminal, animal people," Williams told The Washington Post. "And we know that’s not right and we know that’s really racist."

"I wanted her to be confronted with that very racist thing she said," Williams said.

NavyandWhite Thu 10-Nov-16 13:30:53

I would actually doubt if she said that in all honesty.

I would go in and ask her if she had.

sportinguista Thu 10-Nov-16 13:36:16

Unfortunately we have had similar, my DS goes to a muslim majority school and his friends dad said that he came home saying that the teacher had told pupils that DT had told Christians that all Muslims were bad. DS friend was upset as he now thought because he was Christian all his friends who are Muslim would stop playing with him because they would think he thought that too. DS himself wasn't bothered about it all as we've explained at home what is happening but myself and the other parent had a word because either the teacher explained things badly or DS friend understood it wrongly. The headteacher seemed to think it came up as many of the children are talking about it in that context as they would have heard discussions at home.

It is a difficult subject DS is only seven and the complexities of political rhetoric are not something he understands yet. It should be discussed but in a way all children can understand and in a way that doesn't bring the beliefs one way or another of the teacher in to it.

NoSquirrels Thu 10-Nov-16 13:37:34

Yes, agree with PP that you need to find out exactly how the discussion came up, and what was said to the class. Reacting on the spot is hard, and it's possible the teacher said the wrong thing, but equally possible that your DC has just extrapolated from what others have said and their questions too?

My 5-yr-old in Yr 1 heard the news on the radio over breakfast and said "Oh no!" - they knew from discussions with us that we would be upset for him to win. They asked "Is he a bad man, Mummy?" and I said he didn't truly believe in his heart that everyone was equal, like we believe, and that was a bad thing to think. Then we ate toast, and moved on. I think that was all my 5 yr old needed to know, even though I could have frothed for hours...

sportinguista Thu 10-Nov-16 13:38:35

the teacher not DT! god knows what was on my mind then delirium tremens who knows!

NavyandWhite Thu 10-Nov-16 13:39:46

Ds year 6 cam out of school yesterday telling me of how his class had discussed the election win. Interestingly enough I asked what his teachers views were and he said she didn't say much about it which I guessed as much.

sportinguista Thu 10-Nov-16 13:39:46

Scratch that above, I think I need a good sleep!

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