California Educator

April/May 2020

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Page 25 of 51

"Ever y day when my parents go work, I'm afraid they won't come back," says a girl, her voice shaky. "It's scary to know they could take your parents away from you. And my parents have sacrificed so much to give us a better life." "My neighbors always had big smiles on their faces," recalls a boy. "But after the dad was deported, everybody was very sad, and they seldom went outside. Our community has changed." "My father was detained by ICE, and they put him in jail ," says a boy on the verge of tears. "After a year he couldn't tol- erate jail anymore and said he'd rather be deported , and he was. My family is afraid. When police and immigration officers come to our door, the adults hide, and the kids talk. We are just kids and we're dealing with legal issues, and we have no idea of what to do." T ' S 8 A . M . A T Hoover High School in San Diego, and Mario Valladolid, a resource counselor for the Restorative Justice Practices Department, is hold- ing a community circle in a classroom for some 30 students to share their anxiety about immigration issues and draw strength from one another. ey're also learning about their rights so they'll know what to do if immigration officers come to the door (see "Know Your Rights," page 28). Some students are undocumented or have undocumented relatives. It's clear many are traumatized. One girl is weeping. The Educator has agreed not to use students' real names or show their faces in this story because it might target them or rela- tives for deportation. e teens express a strong desire to do something to help their families and communities, but they feel helpless. ey try in Our Classrooms Immigrant students focus on education while frightened and anxious By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin Photos by Kim Sanford Mario Valladolid, a resource counselor for the Restorative Justice Practices Department at San Diego's Hoover High School, helps students cope with anxiety about immigration issues. I CRISIS 24 feature

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