Over the last few months, we have all been horrified at the inhumane family separation policy undertaken by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Heartbreaking stories of children being ripped from their parents’ arms, audio of children crying hysterically and photos of prison-style camps have inundated the media.
California Together wholeheartedly condemns the federal administration’s decision to separate families and their continued decisions and rhetoric designed to dehumanize immigrants and refugees.
Many of you have answered the call to volunteer your time or make donations or to take to the streets to demand that this nonstop attack on our country’s core value, that we are now and have always been a nation of immigrants, stop. Yet the attacks continue weekly and almost daily as the federal administration continues to change policies and procedures to make life as difficult as possible for all immigrants, authorized or not.
As the new school year approaches, we worry about heightened fear, trauma and anxiety that students in our schools will face. Immigrant parents and students see the same media stories that we do – and we can’t ignore the fact that this climate of hostility has a direct impact on the social-emotional well-being of our students and their ability to learn. We believe that we have to bring the conversation into the classroom, and that’s why we have developed age-appropriate, standards-based lesson plans to help build empathy and community-building within the classroom as well as have literature-based discussions about detention, deportation and separation.
In partnership with county offices of education around the state, we will be holding “Trainer of Trainer” workshops that cover our “Support for Immigrant and Refugee Students” lesson plans, socio-emotional guide, and guide to creating safe and welcoming schools.
We hope to see you soon at one of our upcoming workshops.