"It's going to be okay," I tell them.
I have to be the grownup, even though they are all technically adults.
In our county, we voted overwhelmingly for the first female president 60% for her and 34% for Trump. That means we're surrounded by people who feel the same that we do.
But Trump won the electoral votes. Trump will be the 45th president, and that scares many of my students.
Most of my students haven't had soft lives in the suburbs. They attended urban schools or they came to Columbus from Somalia or Palestine or Mexico. Some of them wear head scarves. Some of them are gay or lesbian. They're going to a community college so they can afford to pay class by class to earn their degree. They thought they were part of America.
Last night's vote convinced them that they'll never be accepted here.
"We've had bad presidents before," I encourage them.
I say things like, "He's probably more moderate than we think."
I make them feel a little better. Maybe this won't affect their lives, but truthfully, it probably will.
It will affect them in the laws that are enacted by Congress and the Supreme Court justices who will be appointed for life.
"We are all responsible for protecting each other," I remind my students. "We're all Americans and we have the same civil liberties. Our work is just starting."
We can't joke about it yet -- maybe never.