Teen Librarian Toolbox
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Spending the Day After the 2016 Election with Teenagers

 

thingsineverlearnedinlibraryschoolI have been a teen services librarian for 22 years, maybe 23. I have sat with teenagers through a lot of moments. Many elections. 9/11. I have talked with them about war, the economy, and yes, about their abortions. Some teenagers we see once or twice, others we come to know more personally. They tell us their hopes and fears. They share who they are at the deepest core of their being. Wednesday I sat in a room of teenagers as they processed what this election meant for them. I tweeted about what I heard and saw and gather those tweets for you here. Listen to our youth, I implore you. We are their voice. Whatever we do next doesn’t just affect us, it affects them. Now and in the future.

 

TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
Yesterday a teen came into the teen MakerSpace. She was shaking and gutted. She was drawn inward when she is usually so outgoing.
a day ago
TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
Someone asked about the election and she said, “Do you know Pence wants to send gay kids away and torture them until they’re straight?”
a day ago
TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
I know but I don’t know who else knew that she identifies as GLBTQ. In fact, 3 of the teens in that room did.
a day ago
TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
Later a new teen brought up the election and it was getting heated, so I changed the subject. “Buy can we talk about Mike Pence?”, she said.
a day ago
TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
“You’re really scared, aren’t you?”, I asked. “Yes, this cuts into my soul. They hate me,” she said.
a day ago
TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
“They want to send me away and torture me,” she said. Here she was, standing before me, scared and dejected. Not scared, terrified.
a day ago
TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
All I could do was tell her this: “There are many, many, adults who love you. We will continue to fight for your safety & civil rights.”
a day ago
TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
But it honestly didn’t feel like much. It felt empty.it felt impotent against the backdrop of her very palpable fear.
a day ago
TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
We have a handful of black kids who come to our space on a fairly regular basis. And they have increasingly shared the racist insults
a day ago
TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
that have been hurled at them. We have had to intercede a couple of times in that very space to keep them safe. Racism is very real:
a day ago
TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
I haven’t seen those kids all week. Not once. And I keep hoping they are safe and know that yes, they are loved. I miss them. I fear.
a day ago
Another teen posted this on her social media. She is 13. https://t.co/wb12FiRGYr
Another teen posted this on her social media. She is 13. pic.twitter.com/wb12FiRGYr
TeenLibrarianToolbox@TLT16
·
a day ago
TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
These are kids. Our kids. Our communities. We are supposed to be mentors and role models. And we shape their world. We are responsible.
a day ago
TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
But listen, here’s what these examples prove. Our kids are watching. They are listening. They are learning, both the good and the bad.
a day ago
TLT16
TeenLibrarianToolbox
@TLT16
We. Must. Do. Better. We must be better. For ourselves. For each other. For them. For our now. For our future.
a day ago

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