WATCH: That One Time Donald Trump Visited A Public School — FIASCO

The Huffington Post is reporting on yet another story in which Donald Trump proved himself to be a bloviating buffoon. This time it was in front of a group of innocent children, who saw right through his shallow self-promotion.

Back in 1997 a group called Public Education Needs Civic Involvement (PENCIL) invited Donald Trump to join them for a day. The group’s mission was to bring influential New Yorkers into the cities schools.

Trump was invited to act as Principal for a Day in a low income elementary school in the Bronx. P.S. 70 had a real principal, of course, who has vivid memories of the painfully awkward day. Sylvia Simon told the Huffington Post that she herself was an African American who had grown up and attended school in the South Bronx. She remembers how disappointed the staff and students were at Trump’s appearance.

Ms. Simon says that Trump showed up at the impoverished school in his limousine. He visited with the kids for a couple of hours, then he left.

While he was there, he offered to hold a sneaker lottery, promising to buy Nikes for the winners.

Proving once again that he has less emotional intelligence than any child, Trump thought that this was a splendid way to show his generosity and success to a group of children in desperate need of educational supplies. One little boy spoke right up and told Trump that he could keep the sneakers. The boy asked for a scholarship instead.

Ms. Simon said that she, like the children, was deeply offended by the pointlessness of the offer. Trump believed that minority children would be inspired by a trendy shoe. He underestimated their thirst for a better education.

She said:

“I’m a minority woman, I come from the South Bronx from the same neighborhood; to me, I thought it was disrespectful. I would have preferred that he gave the money that those sneakers cost to the (school).”

More details of the awkward encounter were provided by other staff members. As Trump was escorted through the school, he pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket to protect his hand from the railing. Perhaps he thought that poverty was catching.

At the time of the visit, the school was trying to raise money to send their chess team to a championship event. At the donation counter, Trump pulled out a fake million dollar bill (he carries fake million dollar bills?) and handed it over as the media took note. Then he took it back and donated $200 to the cause.

It gets worse. The story of Trump’s visit to the school was covered in the New York Times. Trump invited PENCIL’s executive director to a meeting so that he could gloat. He said:

“How great am I? How great was that? Front page of the Metropolitan section … do I work for you or not? Do I put you on the map? Aren’t we great?”

Clueless, tone deaf, shallow, insulting, boorish. Pick your adjective. The character traits we’re seeing in the candidate are not new to him.


Featured image via YouTube screengrab.

Karen is a retired elementary school teacher with many years of progressive activism behind her. She is the proud mother of three young adults who were all arrested with Occupy Wall Street. To see what she writes about in her spare time, check out her blog at "Empty Nest, Full Life"