Well, it happened. And I had to have that conversation. Here was one of their questions:
"Is Donald Trump really going to do all those things he said he'd do to Black people and Mexicans and everyone?"
Dear G-d, I thought, help me.
So I answered that student with some ideas I'd gleaned from my early morning reading of an article in the Huffington Post about how to talk to children about the results of this election. I told my students something about the Democratic process and how no one person truly dictates how the country actually runs; I said something about how our country as a whole doesn't share those values and wouldn't allow such things to happen. But even as I was saying those things in my most convincing, reassuring teacher voice, there was a voice inside me saying, "Well, really? Because what we thought would never happen, JUST HAPPENED. So how do I know we would never let his threats become reality?" I wanted my students to feel safe, protected from the sense that their country was sliding out from underneath them. But I was also keenly aware that I couldn't say, with certainty, that their fears were unfounded.
On my Instagram feed yesterday, Elizabeth Gilbert posted the following photo: