South County Teachers Sponsor Immigration Advocacy Training

Prado.picFor South County San Diego teachers, student success depends on providing opportunities for all students, regardless of their ZIP Code, to have a safe, secure, supportive environment that inspires natural curiosity and encourages their desire to learn.

That mission is made increasingly difficult by 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 in National City to educate their members about family rights and appropriate response as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids increase in cities throughout California.

Six South Bay chapters were led in discussion by American Friends Service Committee’s (AFSC) Program Coordinator Benjamin Prado.  AFSC’s advocacy efforts in the local community go back forty years, bringing legitimacy to this longstanding issue.

AFSC’s goal is to make sure teachers know how they can assist immigrant students and parents who may be under suspicion. Giving teachers the tools to better support children will help us in defense of the human rights of immigrants 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. Over fifty educators remained after, collecting informational materials in Spanish and English suitable for copying and sharing with parents and students in South County San Diego.