Schools offer comfort for students coping with election

Andrea Blanford Image
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Some students struggle processing election results
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Some schools are offering support systems for those students struggling to process election outcomes.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Students struggling to cope with the outcome of Tuesday's election are coming together to voice their concerns about what the future holds.

A couple hundred students gathered on NC State University's campus Friday afternoon for what was billed on social media as a Demonstration of Post-Election Solidarity, open to anyone who felt distressed or unsafe as a result of Donald Trump being elected.

"We felt like the campaign this year was based in bigotry, racism, sexism, islamophobia, xenophobia, all of this hatred that has caused a lot of fear and unrest and distress," said Lauren Frey, an NCSU senior and one of the few students who started organizing the demonstration in the wee morning hours Wednesday. "And so we wanted to organize an event that showed people that we have solidarity that there are people that support each other and we're not going to just sit back and let this hatred run this country."

At UNC's School of Medicine, a top administrator sent an email to students the morning after the election, inviting students to gather in the student lounge where the school would provide space and comfort to discuss Trump's win.

On Thursday, Durham Public Schools Superintendent Bert L'Homme sent an automated message to parents by phone and posted to Facebook in English and Spanish, a message reiterating the school district's values of inclusion and respect. L'Homme reassured families that guidance counselors stood ready to support any student "who has concerns following our recent elections."

Chip Suddereth, spokesperson for the school district, told ABC11 the superintendent wanted to take a proactive step after a staff member noticed Wednesday a dip in attendance for English as a Second Language, or ESL, students.

Trump campaigned on promises to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and enforce immigration laws.


At Raleigh's William Peace University, Anthony Williams said fellow students wrote with chalk on a campus sidewalk commonly used for freedom of expression, the words "Trump" and "build a wall." He said that message along with racial slurs he's heard on campus in recent days should not be tolerated.

"We're all peers and so you should at least have some type of consideration for the people around you," said Williams. "So there can be freedom of expression. But you should be considerate."

When asked about anti-Trump protests that have been turning violent in parts of the country, Frey said she doesn't condone the violence.