Teachers’ mental health declining due to job stress, political discourse, survey finds

The growing stresses of teaching, coupled with the coarseness of the nation’s political debate, is taking a heavy toll on the mental health of teachers, according to a survey released Monday by the American Federation of Teachers and the Badass Teachers Association, a grassroots organization focused on social justice. Well over half of the educators surveyed – 58% – said their mental health was “not good” for seven or more of the previous 30 days. That is up from 34% just two years ago. The summary of the survey – titled “2017 Educator Quality of Work Life Survey” – says safe, welcoming, healthy schools flourish when teachers and school staff are empowered by support and respect on the job.

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San Diego schools combat rising Islamophobia

Responding to a rising number of bullying incidents directed at Muslim students, the San Diego Unified School District is adopting a multi-tiered approach to combatting Islamophobia. According to the Los Angeles Times, elements of the plan include: administrators and teachers will have calendars showing Islamic holidays, students will learn more about the religion in social studies classes; and safe places will be created on campuses for Muslim students.

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Kenosha educators examine ways to keep classrooms safe and inclusive

The Kenosha Education Association is always looking for ways to provide opportunities to both educators and students that make them feel appreciated for who they are and prepared to take on challenges they face in and outside of the classroom. With a sudden increase of bullying incidents at some of the schools, KEA recognized there was a need to educate its members about how to keep their classrooms a safe and inclusive space for their students. As a result, KEA collaborated with GSAFE Wisconsin, an organization whose mission is to create just schools for LGBTQ+ youth in Wisconsin, to host an exclusive, members only workshop to help attendees learn how to navigate an oftentimes sensitive topic.

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School climate worsens in wake of election, new report says

Teachers describe an increase in the use of slurs and derogatory language, along with disturbing incidents involving swastikas, Nazi salutes and Confederate flags in the wake of November’s divisive election that saw Donald Trump rise to the presidency, according to a new report from the organization Teaching Tolerance. The report cited more than 2,500 specific incidents of bigotry and harassment that it said can be directly traced to election rhetoric, including assaults on both students and teachers and acts of vandalism depicting hate symbols and speech.

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