Panel & CFC Call on Officials to Address Election Related Violence and Bullying in AR Schools

This screenshot shows white students from Star City talking about choking a black student on the day after the election. CLICK HERE FOR COVERAGE IN THE ARKANSAS TIMES

This screenshot shows white students from Star City talking about choking a black student on the day after the election.

CLICK HERE FOR COVERAGE IN THE ARKANSAS TIMES

The Arkansas Public Policy Panel and Arkansas Citizens First Congress call on school officials, as well as Governor Hutchinson and other political, faith and community leaders across Arkansas, to coordinate actions to respond to reports of assaults, racial slurs and hate crimes against Black and Latino students across Arkansas.

We’ve heard specific reports of supporters of President-elect Trump’s campaign attacking students of color in Conway, Fayetteville, Hamburg, Little Rock, Springdale, and Star City. It is likely happening elsewhere. Many of the student assailants are using a common refrain and hashtag #TrumpTrain. 

We’ve also heard of a few incidents where students who are Trump supporters have been accosted by supporters of Hillary Clinton and that is also wrong. But the bigger problem is that whole groups of students are afraid to go to school simply because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political, or other identities. It goes without saying that EVERY child should be safe and free from bullying and harassment.

We believe these acts of intolerance are being committed by a very small minority of Arkansans and that most of us still retain basic respect for one another across our many lines of differences.

Our political leaders must denounce hatred, racism, and intolerance and advocate restoring peaceful, respectful civil discourse. They must reassure every American, some of whom are genuinely afraid of their new government, that they have a place and an opportunity in our country. A key strength of our American culture is that we can work through major differences in policy and world view peacefully, respectfully and in the hopes of serving the greater national interest.