Every Child is Precious

Parents Across America was formed by public school parents who were not only concerned about our own children’s educational opportunities, but that every child receive a quality education. Our work is focused on advocating for each child to be recognized, served and protected as a special and precious individual. Yet our society as a whole clearly values and treats some children far better than others, a difference that falls mainly along lines of race and economic status. This is shockingly evident in the wide gap in resources provided to schools in white, middle- and upper-income communities and those in low-income communities of color. It is sadly evident in the disproportion of schools serving black and brown children that are closed, displacing the students and disrupting the community without any noticeable benefit. It is tragically evident in the results of the school-to-prison pipeline.

At the last meeting of the PAA Board of Directors, one of our members, Zerlina Smith from Chicago, reported in real time that there was a huge police presence in her neighborhood in response to the shooting of five young people nearby. The story of one of the victims, who had been covered with a sheet by paramedics despite the fact that he was still alive, was widely reported in the media. The young man later died. Just one more tragedy in a city that has been warned by advocates for years that its discriminatory, harmful school closing actions would lead to increased violence.

And now we witness another horrifying example of the dehumanizing, cruel treatment of a group of people —  children —  by the actions of our government. President Trump takes every opportunity to characterize the people attempting to migrate from Central America as less than human, scary, and a danger to our lives and livelihoods. Congress stands by as immigrant children are shipped off alone across the U.S. without adequate information about how to reunite them with their parents. The “resolution” to this problem is to go back to caging children with their families in detention centers indefinitely.

PAA Board member Deb Mayer writes compellingly about this American horror story on her blog. She describes how an Oregon Congressman was turned away from a child detention center (appalling that there is even such a thing!) in Texas while trying to monitor its operations, a scene that has been repeated in Florida and elsewhere.

Deb suggests that we consider making a donation to some of the organizations that have been on the ground assisting the families including the ACLU and Unidos Bridging Community. Others have mentioned the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES). One thing PAA cannot do is stand quietly by.

 

Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Misc

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