His inflammatory language

The Washington Post suggests that Trump influences people:

Two kindergartners in Utah told a Latino boy that President Trump would send him back to Mexico, and teenagers in Maine sneered “Ban Muslims” at a classmate wearing a hijab. In Tennessee, a group of middle-schoolers linked arms, imitating the president’s proposed border wall as they refused to let nonwhite students pass. In Ohio, another group of middle-schoolers surrounded a mixed-race sixth-grader and, as she confided to her mother, told the girl: “This is Trump country.”

Since Trump’s rise to the nation’s highest office, his inflammatory language — often condemned as racist and xenophobic — has seeped into schools across America. Many bullies now target other children differently than they used to, with kids as young as 6 mimicking the president’s insults and the cruel way he delivers them.

It would be very strange if it were otherwise, since children don’t live in a bubble sealed off from media and other people. Of course some children imitate Trump.

“It’s gotten way worse since Trump got elected,” said Ashanty Bonilla, 17, a Mexican American high school junior in Idaho who faced so much ridicule from classmates last year that she transferred. “They hear it. They think it’s okay. The president says it. . . . Why can’t they?”

This is why I hate his Twitter performance so much, and why I pay so much attention to it. It’s not inert. It’s poisoning everything, probably for years or decades into the future.

Asked about Trump’s effect on student behavior, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham noted that first lady Melania Trump — whose “Be Best” campaign denounces online harassment — had encouraged kids worldwide to treat one another with respect.

Also, there are reindeer in Lapland. Grisham’s reply is contemptuous in its irrelevance. Kids worldwide don’t pay any attention to Melania Trump, and Melania Trump’s malevolent husband vomits his hatreds on Twitter many times every day. Melania Trump’s saying something bland about respect doesn’t make so much as a dent in Trump’s avalanche of bile.

And it’s not just kids.

Three weeks into the 2018-19 school year, Miracle Slover’s English teacher, she alleges, ordered black and Hispanic students to sit in the back of the classroom at their Fort Worth high school.

At the time, Miracle was a junior. Georgia Clark, her teacher at Amon Carter-Riverside, often brought up Trump, Miracle said. He was a good person, she told the class, because he wanted to build a wall.

“Every day was something new with immigration,” said Miracle, now 18, who has a black mother and a mixed-race father. “That Trump needs to take [immigrants] away. They do drugs, they bring drugs over here. They cause violence.”

Make racism great again.

Some students tried to film Clark, and others complained to administrators, but none of it made a difference, Miracle said. Clark, an employee of the Fort Worth system since 1998, kept talking.

Still, Miracle said, school officials took no action until six weeks later, when Clark, 69, tweeted at Trump — in what she thought were private messages — requesting help deporting undocumented immigrants in Fort Worth schools. The posts went viral, drawing national condemnation. Clark was fired.

But most teachers don’t make that mistake, and they don’t get fired.

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