Garden Grove School Trustees Declare Their District A Safe Haven for Immigrants

With a unanimous 5-0 vote, the Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) Board of Trustees approved a resolution on February 21st,  that ensures “a safe and welcoming district for all students and their parents.” The resolution brings some ease at a time when the Trump administration’s latest immigration policies and proposals are causing district students and families to be faced with uncertainty, doubts and fear.

“The youth are worried,” said Katie Brazer a member of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) to the board before the their vote. “They are asking questions and desperately seeking answers and help. I encourage you to make our district a safe zone and thank you for your continuous  effort.”

Garden Grove Unified trustee Walter Muñeton proposed the agenda item a month ago. Before voting on the resolution, he told a room of about 50 people that included GGUSD staff, students, lawyers and community member, “GGUSD has always welcomed and embraced diversity. We want our students and their families to know they are and have always been a part of the district no matter what their immigration status may be.”

The agenda item read that it will be distributed to all schools and district facilities to ensure that all families know that GGUSD remains “a safe and welcoming place for all students and their families, regardless of nation of origin or immigration status”. The distribution of the resolution will be translated into the district’s various languages. The district will also offer resources for in-home support as well as references to any lawyers and organization that could be of assistance to parents and students.

“We swear an oath to take this job and I have taken  that oath six times,” said board member Bob Harden to the audience. “From 7 AM to 3PM, the time the student comes into the school to the time they leave home there is no immigration status there is no dissimilarity in how we treat or teach each student. I don’t pretend to understand what it must feel like to be an immigrant. I was born here and my parents were born here, but I see the fear. When students come to our schools, I want to make sure that they only have one thing to worry about and that’s what answer is right on the math test. We were a safe zone yesterday, we are a safe zone today and we will continue to be one tomorrow.”

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