RICHARDSON, Texas - 2020 has been an emotional year like none other for students -- from the pandemic, to racism, to now a heated election that is drawing record voter turnout.
Some North Texas school districts say now is a good time to talk with kids about how to deal with their emotions, no matter what the outcome is after the election.
“Regardless of whichever way the election goes, we all need to recognize emotions for many will be high,” said Richardson ISD Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone.
She recognizes the potential for problems in RISD classrooms next week.
“This has been an emotionally charged year for many reasons,” Stone said.
While the discourse on the national stage has at times been unruly, stone says teachers will be prepared to help de-escalate any tense situations.
“There will be winners and losers, but we can be gracious. We want to do everything we can to make sure our schools are free of any hurtful speech or derision,” Stone said.
Donald Trump and Joe Biden face off in the first presidential debate of 2020. (Getty Images)
Likewise, Lewisville ISD is giving teachers talking points to help keep classroom debates civil.
“We're not asking students not to have emotions about the election or any other topic for that matter. It's about providing space to support them in that, and model how to handle disappointment in a healthy way,” said Monya Crow, Executive Director of Counseling, Lewisville ISD.
Crow says the heated election can be a moment when students learn one of their most important life skills -- maintaining relationships despite disagreements and allowing people to feel heard.
“One thing we don't do a lot of is really being interested in the other person's opinion. A lot of time we enter into a conversation with our next statement or answer already in the queue. It is important to say I disagree, but I don't know if I understand all the tenants of your candidate,” Crow said.
Crow says it is okay if students have political buttons or clothing. The district's focus is to teach kids to still respectfully interact with one another.