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Twin Cities High Schoolers Worry About Trump Rhetoric

NCHS
Staff
/
WGLT

Elections are always polarizing. Elections are always bruising.

But, a Normal Community High School Teacher said this is the most extreme he has seen and one that has had a pronounced effect on students.

Kelly Keogh mediated a forum in which students voiced fears and concerns about the election.

NCHS teacher Kelley Keogh says high schools are a microcosm of larger society, but the bottom line is respecting each other. Keogh has been teaching for 32 years. Among his courses are International Relations and AP Government.

Keogh is the faculty head Unit Five's Not In Our School group

Keogh said stress has risen because of the vicious rhetoric during the campaign directed toward immigrants and people of non-Christian religions.

"For a lot of students, they felt that was a personal attack on them. many of them were legitimately shocked and a number of them said they were actually scared," said Keogh.

Keogh said he and the administration have tried to make it plain teachers will not tolerate such rhetoric in school, even when it mimics that of the President-elect.

"There were a couple kids who recounted some people walking down the hallway and  saying would tell them you'll be leaving the country soon. One Indian student said, well, I was born here. I had one my hispanic kids come up to me and say Mr. Keogh, I'm really scared. Does this mean that I'm going to be? First of all, no," said Keogh.

On the flip side, Keogh said he has also had students who are Trump supporters express worry they will be targeted because of their beliefs.

Keogh told GLT's Charlie Schlenker kids are a lot like adults in their reaction to the upset in the presidential contest.

WGLT News Director Charlie Schlenker grew up in Rock Island and graduated from Augustana College. He has spent more than three decades in radio.