Cultivating Respectful Classroom Discourse in Trump's America


  • Jennifer Pendergrass Bartow County Schools



Politics, Trump, Bullying, Intimidation, Muslim Registry, Deportation, Safe Environment


The 2016 Presidential Election brought debate about wall building, deportation for undocumented families, and registering for Muslim Americans. A Trump presidency means that many of our ESOL families are concerned about their security in our communities. Families are talking about this at home, and children are talking at school. Students are repeating insensitive things they have heard at home or on television. For our students who are already fearful that their families will be separated or that they will have to register because of their religion, hearing their peers support those ideas can feel intimidating. How can teachers provide a safe learning environment that respects all learners? Suggestions are presented for maintaining an intimidation-free classroom and encouraging respectful discourse in order to promote optimal learning opportunities.

Author Biography

Jennifer Pendergrass, Bartow County Schools

Jennifer Pendergrass has been teaching for 12 years, and she is currently an ESOL teacher in North Georgia. She earned her B.S. in Deaf Education from Ball State University and her ESOL Endorsement through NWGA RESA. She graduated with her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Phoenix. She earned her Ed.D. in Teacher Leadership from Walden University.


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How to Cite

Pendergrass, J. (2017). Cultivating Respectful Classroom Discourse in Trump’s America. GATESOL Journal, 27(1).



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