Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, an alarming fact given that he has built his campaign on xenophobic, racist and sexist rhetoric – not to mention the culture of violence that has developed at his rallies. The violence and hatred isn’t just limited to his campaign events, though. Increasingly, the anti-immigrant sentiments he has stoked have seeped into the school system, with Latino students on the receiving end of Trump-inspired racism.
During a recent soccer match between two Wisconsin high schools, three young children yelled, “Donald Trump, build that wall!” at black and Latina players on the field. In Indiana, students from Andrean High School chanted “Build that wall” at the mostly Latino students from Bishop Noll Institute. And in Costa Mesa, California, the words “fuck illegal aliens” and “wetbacks” were prominently graffitied on Newport Harbor High School’s campus. Last Thursday, after a 13-year-old student was punched and choked at a Costa Mesa anti-Trump protest, Newport Harbor High’s Latino students banded together to stand up to the harassment they’d faced since last fall, according to The Guardian.
On Friday, they showed up wearing Dump Trump T-shirts, and by the end of the first period, a security guard had asked 16-year-old Angelina Alvarez to report to the principal’s office. Principal Sean Boulton asked Angelina to change out of her Dump Trump shirt for her safety. But Angelina didn’t buy it, as her classmates had worn their pro-Trump shirts all year.
“They’ve worn the shirts all this time, and we wear a shirt for one period and we get called up right away,” she said. “It’s not like we’re doing anything violent. We’re just standing up for ourselves.” At 52 percent of the student body, white students outnumber Latino students (38 percent). Angelina and other Latino students told administrators about the bullying they’d faced, and they didn’t back off until the school gave them the right to wear their anti-Trump tees.