Nearly 90 percent of the nation’s high school principals are coping with hostile clashes between students inflamed by the political division and heated rhetoric, finds a new survey.
The Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access at the University of California, Los Angeles, studied 505 principals in communities that are nationally representative regionally, racially, and by family income and political party affiliation. In an online survey last summer, the principals discussed five problems at their schools in 2017-18: political division, disputes over truth and validity of sources; opioid addition, the threat of immigration enforcement, and the threat of gun violence. Forty of the principals also gave follow-up interviews.
Almost all the principals in the survey said they’d experienced at least two of the five problems UCLA described. Seventy percent reported dealing with four or more, and more than 30 percent are juggling all five.
A version of this article appeared in the March 20, 2019 edition of Education Week as School Leadership