Survey: Partisan politics causing more conflict in high schools

The mid-term elections saw a lot of partisan bickering about schools. But according to a new survey, the partisan bickering is now actually within the schools.

Researchers at UCLA and UC Riverside surveyed a representative sample of 682 high school principals. Over two-thirds of the principals cited conflict over political issues within their schools. Almost half of the principals reported that they saw more partisan conflict post-pandemic.

The samples were collected from both conservative (red), and liberal (blue) leaning areas. They also collected samples from politically divided (purple) areas. The schools in purple areas had more political conflict:

“Political conflict between students has created significant challenges for public schools. Almost seven-in-ten (69%) of principals report that students made derogatory remarks to liberal or conservative classmates. And this problem was much more likely to occur on multiple occasions in Purple communities.”

According to the survey, these conflicts made it difficult to teach and led to student victimization:

“The chilling effect also has led to marked declines in general support for teaching about race, racism, and racial and ethnic diversity. Principals also report sizable growth in harassment of LGBTQ+ youth.”

A similar survey was conducted in 2018 and served as a reference point for the data.

Read the full report here.

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