‘Not Just Promises on a Piece of Paper': Alum Rock School District Officials Work to Assuage Families' Deportation Fears

An emergency meeting in the South Bay on Wednesday aimed to address some of the side effects of a Donald Trump presidency.

Many students in San Jose’s Alum Rock School District are on Christmas break. But district officials said they’re learning that some of those students will not return after the holiday because their families are afraid of being deported.

Superintendent Hilaria Bauer has been making home visits to convince families to keep their children in school amid brewing fears. An impromptu brainstorming session was held on Wednesday to discuss some of those parents’ concerns.

“We want them to be calm,” she said. “We also want them to know we’re working on it, not just promises on a piece of paper.”

One plan is to work with city, county and congressional leaders so they can have unified answers for worried families. Another is to get advice from border communities.

Alum Rock School District board member Andres Quintero said the idea is to be proactive instead of waiting for children to stop attending classes.

“Colleagues that are [on] the Arizona border and unfortunately had to implement protocols … to address situations where one day the children and parents are together and the next day the parents can’t pick up their children,” he said.

Bauer, who already has two more home visits scheduled in January, is tracking attendance numbers to see how big of an impact this will have on the district.

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