Teachers shared how their students feel about the election. The quotes are heartbreaking.

Clap your hands, America! We did it!

We're number one! U-S-A! U-S-A! Photo via iStock.


Our presidential election is officially scaring the ever-loving bejeezus out of children.

U-S-A? U-S-A? Photo via iStock.

Thanks, in no small part, to this guy:

Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images.

The Southern Poverty Law Center surveyed 2,000 teachers and school officials about how the 2016 election was affecting their classrooms.

None of the questions on the survey mentioned Trump by name.

But it's pretty much impossible to read the responses without concluding that The Donald is the main nightmare-driver for America's youth, particularly youth of color.

The numbers are scary.

The report found that 67% of the educators questioned reported hearing students of color — Muslims and Latinos especially, but also African-Americans and others — express fear for their and their families' futures after the election was over.

An immigrant rights rally in Washington D.C. Photo by Mandel Ngan/Getty Images.

More than 33% reported a general rise in nasty comments about Muslims and immigrants.

"One of my students who is Muslim is worried that he will have to wear a microchip identifying him as Muslim."

More than 40% reported feeling nervous about bringing the election up in class.

The quotes from teachers and school administrators are even scarier than the numbers (all respondents were quoted anonymously).

Protestors at a Trump rally in New York. Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images.

On how the tone in their classrooms is much, much different this time:

"Kids are asking frightened questions, rather thanpositive ones," one teacher responded.

"The hateful speech of Trump has frightened my eighth graders," said another.

On how students have internalized the bigoted rhetoric emerging from the campaign trail:

"One of my students who isMuslim is worried that he will have to wear a microchipidentifying him as Muslim."

"I have noticed that many of our students, as young as first grade, are asking questions about what may happento their family members that are here without theproper documentation."

"A student has been called terrorist and ISIS. Another was told he would be deported if Trump wins."

On what students of color think their fellow Americans think of them:

"My Hispanic students seem dejected about not only Donald Trump's rhetoric, but also about the amount of people who seem to agree with him. They feel sure that Americans, their fellow students, and even their teachers hate them (regardless of their citizenship)."

"My students are frustrated with the racism andprejudice that is emerging from the presidentialcampaign. They are scared of what will happen andthey feel helpless."

Keep in mind: This is just a small sample of what these teachers and school administers had to say. There are over 200 pages of these kinds of statements. You can go read the whole thing if you want. I'm not sure you want to, but you can.

A couple important caveats about the report:

It's just a single survey and a nonscientific one at that.

The types of teachers who respond to a survey from the SPLC — an organization chartered to fight racism — could be more likely to speak up about injustice and the impact of bigotry on their schools and students than teachers who aren't as tuned in to these issues.

But, win or lose, the Trump campaign's race-based fearmongering has already begun to bleed out into the real world.

Students at an Iowa High School were heard chanting "Trump! Trump!" after losing a basketball game to a school with a higher percentage of Latino students.

In Wisconsin, high school students reportedly yelled "Donald Trump, build that wall!" at players of color on an opposing soccer team.

Pro- and anti-Trump supporters argue in Utah. Photo by George Frey/Getty Images.

A Kansas man allegedly chanted "Trump! Trump! Trump!" while beating a Hispanic man and a Muslim man, after subjecting them to a round of racial slurs.

Trump supporters have assaulted nonwhite protestors at actual Trump rallies.

A black woman was shoved — repeatedly — at a Trump event in Kentucky.

A teenage protestor was pepper-sprayed in the face at a Trump rally in Wisconsin.

A Trump supporter told a group of protestors to "Go to Auschwitz," while giving what appeared to be a Nazi salute.

Two assailants beat up and urinated on a homeless man in Boston while reportedly said, "Trump was right. All these illegals need to be deported."

A Trump speech prompted a young Muslim girl in Texas to fear that the army was going to come and take her family and her away, prompting members of the military to rally to her defense.

It's no wonder our kids are scared.

Even one child frightened is too many. Hundreds is a national disgrace.

Scientific or not, the survey reveals that many, many children — particularly children of color — are indeed frightened about what might happen this November. For good reason. The list of truly terrifying things Trump has said and/or pledged to do is long — and growing.

Liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, we owe it to them to stop this guy:

Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images.

But more than that, we owe it to them to undo the damage Trump has already done by creating space for racist violence and speech to thrive. That means we need to call out hateful, biased rhetoric when we see it, and make it clear that, no matter what our political beliefs are, bigotry has no place in politics.

Once we do that, we can get back to arguing about what really matters.

Not actually what they were really saying. But a man can dream.

Courtesy of Amita Swadhin
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In 2016, Amita Swadhin, a child of two immigrant parents from India, founded Mirror Memoirs to help combat rape culture. The national storytelling and organizing project is dedicated to sharing the stories of LGBTQIA+ Black, indigenous people, and people of color who survived child sexual abuse.

"Whether or not you are a survivor, 100% of us are raised in rape culture. It's the water that we're swimming in. But just as fish don't know they are in water, because it's just the world around them that they've always been in, people (and especially those who aren't survivors) may need some help actually seeing it," they add.

"Mirror Memoirs attempts to be the dye that helps everyone understand the reality of rape culture."

Amita built the idea for Mirror Memoirs from a theater project called "Undesirable Elements: Secret Survivors" that featured their story and those of four other survivors in New York City, as well as a documentary film and educational toolkit based on the project.

"Secret Survivors had a cast that was gender, race, and age-diverse in many ways, but we had neglected to include transgender women," Amita explains. "Our goal was to help all people who want to co-create a world without child sexual abuse understand that the systems historically meant to help survivors find 'healing' and 'justice' — namely the child welfare system, policing, and prisons — are actually systems that facilitate the rape of children in oppressed communities," Amita continues. "We all have to explore tools of healing and accountability outside of these systems if we truly want to end all forms of sexual violence and rape culture."

Amita also wants Mirror Memoirs to be a place of healing for survivors that have historically been ignored or underserved by anti-violence organizations due to transphobia, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy.

Amita Swadhin

"Hearing survivors' stories is absolutely healing for other survivors, since child sexual abuse is a global pandemic that few people know how to talk about, let alone treat and prevent."

"Since sexual violence is an isolating event, girded by shame and stigma, understanding that you're not alone and connecting with other survivors is alchemy, transmuting isolation into intimacy and connection."

This is something that Amita knows and understands well as a survivor herself.

"My childhood included a lot of violence from my father, including rape and other forms of domestic violence," says Amita. "Mandated reporting was imposed on me when I was 13 and it was largely unhelpful since the prosecutors threatened to incarcerate my mother for 'being complicit' in the violence I experienced, even though she was also abused by my father for years."

What helped them during this time was having the support of others.

"I'm grateful to have had a loving younger sister and a few really close friends, some of whom were also surviving child sexual abuse, though we didn't know how to talk about it at the time," Amita says.

"I'm also a queer, non-binary femme person living with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and those identities have shaped a lot of my life experiences," they continue. "I'm really lucky to have an incredible partner and network of friends and family who love me."

"These realizations put me on the path of my life's work to end this violence quite early in life," they said.

Amita wants Mirror Memoirs to help build awareness of just how pervasive rape culture is. "One in four girls and one in six boys will be raped or sexually assaulted by the age of 18," Amita explains, "and the rates are even higher for vulnerable populations, such as gender non-conforming, disabled, deaf, unhoused, and institutionalized children." By sharing their stories, they're hoping to create change.

"Listening to stories is also a powerful way to build empathy, due to the mirror neurons in people's brains. This is, in part, why the project is called Mirror Memoirs."

So far, Mirror Memoirs has created an audio archive of BIPOC LGBTQI+ child sexual abuse survivors sharing their stories of survival and resilience that includes stories from 60 survivors across 50 states. This year, they plan to record another 15 stories, specifically of transgender and nonbinary people who survived child sexual abuse in a sport-related setting, with their partner organization, Athlete Ally.

"This endeavor is in response to the more than 100 bills that have been proposed across at least 36 states in 2021 seeking to limit the rights of transgender and non-binary children to play sports and to receive gender-affirming medical care with the support of their parents and doctors," Amita says.

In 2017, Mirror Memoirs held its first gathering, which was attended by 31 people. Today, the organization is a fiscally sponsored, national nonprofit with two staff members, a board of 10 people, a leadership council of seven people, and 500 members nationally.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, they created a mutual aid fund for the LGBTQIA+ community of color and were able to raise a quarter-million dollars. They received 2,509 applications for assistance, and in the end, they decided to split the money evenly between each applicant.

While they're still using storytelling as the building block of their work, they're also engaging in policy and advocacy work, leadership development, and hosting monthly member meetings online.

For their work, Amita is one of Tory's Burch's Empowered Women. Their donation will go to Mirror Memoirs to help fund production costs for their new theater project, "Transmutation: A Ceremony," featuring four Black transgender, intersex, and non-binary women and femmes who live in California.

"I'm grateful to every single child sexual survivor who has ever disclosed their truth to me," Amita says. "I know another world is possible, and I know survivors will build it, together with all the people who love us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."