School District Goes Door to Door to Reassure Families of Students Fearing Deportation - NBC Bay Area
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School District Goes Door to Door to Reassure Families of Students Fearing Deportation

South Bay superintendent says many parents who are undocumented immigrants are uneasy about Trump administration

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    The post-election fear is so great in one South Bay school district, the superintendent is now having to make home visits to put families at ease. Damian Trujillo reports. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016)

    The post-election fear is so great in one South Bay school district, the superintendent is now having to make home visits to put families at ease.

    Many of the students in the Alum Rock School District are U.S. citizens, but some of their parents are undocumented immigrants. And several of those families are pulling their kids from school for fear of being deported.

    The district did not provide concrete data on absences yet, but administrators know some kids are staying home.

    Lee Matthson Middle School is where much of the post-election fear is being seen. School counselors there said a student shared a heartbreakng story on Nov. 9.

    District Superintendent Hilaria Bauer said the student told counselors, "My parents are packing. We’re leaving."

    "So their lives from one moment to the next changed," Bauer said.

    The superintendent said the fear of deportation under a Donald Trump administration is widespread. Unable to persuade parents to come to campuses for immigration worskshops, Bauer said she will now go to them. She will begin conducting home visits during the holidays to assure them the schools are safe places.

    "These visits are not going to be broadcast," Bauer said. this is a confidential, personal mater.”

    Bertha Razo, a parent leader in Alum Rock, has offered up her home as a safe place where the district can hold one of its informal gatherings with parents.

    Bauer said schools had to give middle schoolers a crash course in civics so they could better understand how an election works and how laws are passed. Now, the superintendent said, it's about educating the parents.

    The school district receives $10,000 per year per student, but Bauer said it's not about money. It's about keeping kids in school, learning. And feeling safe.

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