For South County San Diego teachers, student success depends on providing opportunities for all students, regardless of their zip coode, to have a safe, secure, supportive environment that inspires natural curiosity and encourages their desire to learn.
That mission is made increasingly difficult by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that marginalize communities while striking fear in the hearts of immigrant families, including those from border cities and neighborhoods in Southern California.
In response, National City Elementary Teachers Association (NCETA) partnered with South County San Diego teachers to hold an informational meeting at Sweetwater High School to educate their members about family rights and appropriate response as ICE raids increase throughout California.
Six South Bay chapters were led in discussion by American Friends Service Committee’s (AFSC) Program Coordinator Benjamin Prado (pictured above). AFSC, whose advocacy efforts in the local community go back 40 years, aims to give teachers the tools to better support and defend the human rights of immigrant children and families who may be subject to abuse by federal authorities.
Prado led the facilitated discussion on topics that included:
Humans are a migratory species
What are human rights and who should have access to them?
What is appropriate to discuss in the classroom?
What actions can educators take while at school and on the job?
What should educators do in the event of a student or parent detention?
How do you create a site crisis plan, and what should it include?
What other resources are available for teachers, parents, and community members?
Attendees spoke positively about the forum. After the discussion, more than 50 educators stayed to collect informational materials in Spanish and English suitable for copying and sharing with parents and students.