A Call to Protect California Students

Posted: January 6, 2017

Youth ALIVE! joins 120 other organizations to demand sanctuary, safety and protection for California students

Sanctuary for Students Urged

Schools are urged to help immigrants students feel safe

Demands and recommendations for protecting  California’s young immigrants and Muslims from deportation were laid out in a recent open letter to state education leaders. As the threat to newcomers becomes ever more urgent, there are ways schools and school systems at all levels can protect vulnerable students and increase their sense of safety.

Young people understand what’s at stake. In a recent survey by the Southern Poverty Law Center, two-thirds of 2000 K-12 teachers nationwide said students, particularly Muslim students, immigrants and children of immigrants, had expressed concerns or fears for their families. Fear and instability are barriers to academic success and physical well-being. Now, as the incoming administration begins to develop its strategy for deportations, those fears are ever more intense.

“Young people are in the process of building their personality and identity, said Youth ALIVE! Counseling Services Director Nicky MacCallum. “If they are constantly exposed negative acts and attitudes, this can have detrimental impact on their sense of safety, security, ability to trust, self-esteem, confidence, and sense of belonging. These negative acts and attitudes can impact young people both as individuals and as a generation.”

Among the recommendations presented to education leaders, local school districts and colleges in the letter signed by Youth ALIVE! and dozens of other groups who work with immigrant and minority youth:

  • Facilitate strong inter-group relations among students
  • Actively address and prevent bullying
  • Commit to upholding legal obligations and student privacy to ensure safe educational environments

Read the College for All Coalition letter here – Open Letter to California’s Educational Leaders