Many city school districts are part of the “sanctuary city” services that offer special outreach and services to immigrants and refugees. So it has been a tense and anxious time in those districts, especially with last weekend’s executive order targeting refugees and immigrants. This week’s On the Wire is focused on how districts have been providing extra support for students in these districts.
We’d love to hear your thoughts or stories about how your schools and communities are supporting and giving voice to your students.
A group of students and their families gathered together at Denver’s South High School to discuss Trump’s controversial executive order, which banned citizens from seven Muslim countries and suspended the U.S. refugee program temporarily. Tom Boasberg, DPS Superintendent, promised to continue welcoming refugee students.
“I want everybody to be given the same opportunity that I’ve been given, and that’s why this is very upsetting,” said Sara Gebretsadik, who came to the United States from Ethiopia about seven years ago. “Everybody deserves the opportunity to shine.”
On Tuesday morning, 40-50 teachers and staff members lined the halls to greet students with welcoming signs of support. Minneapolis schools Superintendent Ed Graff said the district would continue to provide support to immigrant students and families.
They held signs including “REFUGEES are WELCOME HERE,” “Hate-Free Zone” and “We Stand With Our Muslim Students,” wrote Raghavendran.
Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Steve Joel released a 5-minute video with an impassioned plea for staff to make immigrant students feel welcome. He urged teachers and staff to make immigrant and refugee families feel supported during these uncertain times following Trump’s immigration ban.
“This is our legacy. This is what we do. This is what’s important,” Joel said. “And we are going to shine through this as a beacon of light and hope for all our children because their success is what matters most.”
Eugene 4J School Board discussed a draft resolution this week regarding the “Equitable and Safe School “ issue. The resolution seeks to protect all children, regardless of their parents’ immigration status, by closing any loopholes in the current anti-discrimination policies.
On Thursday, Denver schools and the state’s largest teacher’s union issued a statement of support to Denver’s immigrant and refugee students, saying they would do everything possible to protect them from deportation and harassment.
The statement can be read in full here.