I’m a kindergarten teacher in the Bronx, so I’m uniquely qualified to judge Donald Trump’s behavior.
If Donald Trump was in my classroom (which he should be), he would get a “sad news” note home every day.
Let’s imagine Donald Trump in my kindergarten class. We have clear rules governing the behavior of our children, who range in age from 4 to 6, because everyone has to learn to be nice. For instance, if Trump had a disagreement with another boy, then called him “human scum” in response, that child would instantly raise his hand, then tell me about this terrible insult.
Little Donald would have to say he’s sorry, which he refuses to do. Then he would have to change his behavior card from green — which is good — to yellow, a first warning.
I ask Little Donald why he said that. He just crosses his arms and glares at me.
My classroom is filled with children from all over the world. We have children from Mexico, Ecuador, Yemen, Bangladesh and other countries. When Little Donald says he doesn’t like Muslims, I ask him why. He says, “They’re terrorists.”
When Little Donald says he thinks immigrants are bringing drugs and crime to the country, I ask him, “Where is your evidence?” He won’t be able to give me any, claiming instead, “People are saying that.”
When Little Donald says he just knows that immigrants are bad, I ask him if he would like to be called names. He screams out, “I’m white and I’m perfect! Nobody can call me names!”
I say, as I have many times to my students, “IF you don’t like it, don’t do it to somebody else.”
This doesn’t matter to Little Donny. His next move is to grab another child and drag him to our timeout bench in the corner of the room, then say, “I’m putting you in a cage because you’re bad and don’t belong here.”
That child will cry out, and I have to intervene to get the child out of the cage Donald has built.
But Little Donald does it again, this time building a wall of chairs and blocks around the child trapped on the timeout bench. Then Donald gets a second warning, and must change his card to orange.
When Little Donny calls a boy from Mexico a “rapist,” the boy complains he doesn’t know what that means, but he knows it’s bad. When Little Donny grabs a girl on the behind and smiles — making the girl cry — I tell Donny to change his behavior card to red (that means a “sad news” note home), and call the school social worker.
The social worker is Hispanic. Little Donny doesn’t like that. He says the social worker can’t be fair because she’s Mexican, even though she’s an American citizen.
When Little Donny brings a lump of coal to school, then lights it on fire on the alphabet carpet in the middle of the classroom, I stamp it out, then call the principal.
The principal is Hispanic. Donny doesn’t like that either.
Our security guards, who are also Hispanic and female, walk into the room and surround Donny. He tells them to go back to their country. “I’m American,” one of them says. The maintenance men, all Hispanic, clean up the mess Donny made with the coal in the middle of the carpet.
Little Donny freaks out. He is surrounded by Hispanic and Muslim people, who are all American citizens. He cannot comprehend this fact.
“I will blow up the country if you don’t leave me alone!” he screams.
The security guards try to escort Donny out of the room. He throws a big bag of oil in their faces. Despite that insult, their faces soiled, they maintain their dignity and professional sense of responsibility, and carry him out as Donny kicks and screams that he’s not being treated fairly.
“It’s all so unfair!” he yells hysterically.
We don’t see Donny again for the rest of the year.
Next September, on the first day of school, Little Donny walks back into my classroom, surrounded by beefy bodyguards wearing long white robes and holding AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, with a “Trump White House” logo on their sleeves. I am stunned to see him, but there he is, in his little red tie, brown shirt, and short pants, wearing shiny black military boots, his overlong and windswept hair hooking over the collar, his face makeup as orange as a Halloween pumpkin, looking as insolent and angry as ever.
It is suddenly clear to me. Donald Trump must repeat the grade. He has failed kindergarten.