In a daring and controversial move the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education looks to warn K-12 students about traveling to Arizona where a tough new immigration law recently passed.
The resolution was drawn up by SDUSD Board of Education President Richard Barrera and contains language condemning Arizona’s new illegal alien legislation and demanding the governor rescind the law immediately.
The resolution encourages students and parents not to spend time in Arizona, “due to the risk they may face in being subjected to inappropriate and unlawful scrutiny.”
The Arizona law set off a firestorm of rhetoric on both sides of the issue; however, the tough stance on illegal immigration finds favor both locally and nationally according to a Rasmussen poll. In Arizona, 70 percent favor the law to bring down crime that is burdening the state. Nationally, more than 60 percent approve of the new law.
After San Diego’s City Council voted last week to condemn Arizona’s new law and sent a letter to Governor Jan Brewer, apparently the SDUSD school board feels empowered to warn children about the political landscape the country faces during a lingering recession.
Jeff Schwilk, founder of the San Diego Minutemen called Barrera’s proposed resolution outrageous. “Like the San Diego City Council last week, Mr. Barrera is sticking his nose into a political issue that has nothing to do with the school district. If Barrera really cares about the safety of our children, he should focus on warning them and their parents about the physical dangers of traveling to war-torn Mexico, just a few miles south of San Diego. With the new law in place, Arizona will be a much safer place to visit for all American citizens,” Schwilk said.
The vote is set to take place on Tuesday night and claims that 44 percent of its student body is Hispanic and could be affected if they travel to Arizona.
The resolution also claims these students may “be targeted and harassed by law enforcement officials in Arizona as ‘reasonably suspect’ if they fall into a stereotype held by law enforcement officers.”
However, Arizona’s new law says nothing about targeting children and confirms law enforcement officers can only approach people if they’ve broken the law in some way. Examples of this could be speeding in a car, running a stop sign or robbing a bank. If people and children follow the law there will be no problems in Arizona or any other state.
Nevertheless, the School Board says; “`The law undermines fundamental civil rights and civil liberties, and poses a special threat to people of color who live in and travel through Arizona.”
Parents of school age children feel differently. “Since when did the public school district feel the need to involve children in a political topic that has nothing to do with them and will only deter them from learning,” explained Becky Schuler a parent. “California’s schools are some of the worst in the country and this is just another example of why the kids are failing to learn San Diego.”
San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio was the only member who dissented against the City Council resolution.
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