SLO County schools concerned with post-election hate speech

December 5, 2016
James Brescia

James Brescia

In the aftermath of President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in last month’s election, the superintendent of San Luis Obispo County schools is warning local students against demonstrating racism and using hate speech. [Tribune]

Though it does not appear the incidents resulted in any damage beyond hurt feelings, there have been several reports of students making inappropriate comments following the Nov. 8 election. The incidents prompted Superintendent James Brescia to issue a memorandum on Thursday.

“If there is a problem in your school or community, communicate with local officials in order to send a signal that there is no place for racism, hate or bullying within our schools or community,” Brescia stated in the memo.

Brescia said negative rhetoric that appeared in the local and national media “stoked fears and tensions” among students. Separately, the superintendent told the Tribune the recent election was the most negative experience he had ever been through.

While details are sparse since administrators are citing confidentiality rules, local educators have disclosed that students at San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles high schools have accused some of their peers of making inappropriate post-election comments.

At San Luis Obispo High, one student reportedly made an inappropriate comment to another during a class period. School administrators met with both students, as well as their parents, in order to resolve the issue.

The day following the election, a group of Paso Robles students reportedly shouted some slogans, like “Go Trump,” at a group of Latino students. Paso Robles Principal Eric Martinez said the shouts were not directed at specific individuals and that he thought the Trump supporters were expressing their pleasure with the outcome. But Latino groups said the shouts had a definite effect on how they felt.

Martinez said school staffers told the pro-Trump group they have a right to free speech, but that speech cannot be directed at specific individuals or groups while on school grounds.

Since the election, there have been no instances of hate speech at Paso Robles High, Martinez said. But, there was a spike in students seeking guidance from school counselors.

Nipomo High School did not report any cases of inappropriate remarks. Principal John Denno said, though, some students asked their teachers what a Trump presidency might mean for relatives who are living in the country illegally or for gay or transgender people.

The principals of Arroyo Grande and Atascadero high schools said no incidents occurred on their campuses.

However, at Pauling Middle School in Arroyo Grande, officials investigated two cases of inappropriate statements. School administrators met with both students, as well as their parents, in order to resolve the issue.

Neither the superintendent’s office, nor local law enforcement has had to intervene in any of the post-election incidents at local schools.


Maybe it would just be easier to issue a list of “Approved” opinions to everyone so we know what to think and say?


It’s amazing…institutions of public education. I think they value public over education. Their first concern is for the status quo and education comes second.

The public schools are in the midst of an historic election and historic times for our nation and all they can do is FREAK OUT! nice example for the skulls full of mush in their charge.

I see a day maybe or maybe not in our lifetime when education is stripped away from uncle Sam.

American children deserve an independent voice in front of the classroom and they seldom have that today in our public schools.


OMG how much more of this ridiculousness will be subjected to. Every assertion in this article attests to the fact that no harm or threats occurred yet all the little snowflakes must be protected. I can’t agree more that threats and racism can not be tolerated in the schools, yet none of that is indicated here. Grow up people.


And we can’t have winners and losers in sporting events, everyone must receive a participation award so that no one feels left out. Yikes


“snowflakes” = a word used by bullies!

Reality Check

Educator are not doing these sissies any favors. Unless someone physically injures another, let it go. These students are not getting the chance to learn how to deal with views different than their own. I recently heard someone commenting that they remembered the “I like Ike” shouts against those who supported Stevenson. This kind of advocacy for a candidate is not new. Advocacy is being portrayed as bigotry or hate, when in fact it is not bigotry, but rather, it is human nature to show a little glee when their team wins.

The real world of cut throat business and the competitive work place will be a terrible shock to these coddled kiddies. Kids need to be guided toward building coping skills, not guided into relying on playing the “victim”. Victims don’t do well out in the real world.

What a different attitude educators have now compared to eight years ago when educators had children learning/ singing hymns to Obama. Can we perhaps guess that some of the anxieties of children now after a conservative wins election are being fanned by liberal educators who are poisoning the thoughts and inflaming the fears of the kids?


My oh my what a different tune we sing “they have a right to free speech, but……”. You can’t have it both ways people. You either have free speech or you don’t. If the white kids are picking fights with the minorities then deal with it but, don’t remove their right to free speech. Shouting “Go Trump” at a minority group by the way cannot be confused with “I hate Mexicans and Italian people”.


“…one student reportedly made an inappropriate comment to another during a class period. School administrators met with both students, as well as their parents, in order to resolve the issue…”

Really? Unless it was a threat of violence (in which case law enforcement should have been notified), calling parents in for a meeting seems terribly overkill.

Can’t the district build a new structure on campus — a “safe place” where delicate snowflakes can curl-up in the fetal position for an hour at a time to relieve their anxieties?

The “safe place” could have a vending machine stocked with lavender-infused bubbly water and vegan snacks.


“the superintendent told the Tribune the recent election was the most negative experience he had ever been through.”

Really? Grow a a pair already.


Maybe with that statement he has helped generate whatever problems that they think they may have. Seems like free speech is becoming very selective depending on your ethnic background. A white kills a black and it’s a hate crime and the Feds are called in to see if someone’s civil rights were violated. A black kills a white and reduce it to manslaughter so they serve a lesser time in prison and get out early to commit more crime. Where is all of this going?


Because it’s all about how these poor Snowflake-babies feeeeelz. So now it will be okay to refer to anyone that may have supported a Trump Presidency as “Racists” and “Bigots” but God forbid someone stands up and defends their right to do so?


Typical administrative approach: extrapolate “no incidents have been reported” to “no incidents have occurred”. Get real.