I usually blog the day after Labor Day with a wish for everyone to have a good start to the new school year. But with yesterday’s news about the six-month expiration on DACA, I’m here to say a few things because I’m too disgusted by our myopic leaders to mince words.
I travel this country pretty much from end-to-end meeting all kinds of students – including those whose lives are going to be upended by President Trump’s assault on undocumented immigrants. These students will start their school year carrying an enormous amount of stress and fear even before they open the first notebook or study for any quiz.
I ask that you consider what it might be like to be a young person who is threatened with losing everything he or she has ever known as home. From that place of compassion, I am urging you to contact your representatives on their behalf. It just isn’t enough to treat your students with kindness or to feel satisfied that you, personally, treat them well. They need all of us to advocate for them because right now – gutted and powerless as they are feeling – they can’t. Here is a place to start.
For those of us who know the power of reading and writing to get us through even the ugliest experiences, here are a couple of things for you. The first is a reading list that may help students understand the dilemma of young people who are undocumented. It’s from Colorín Colorado and it is being updated fairly regularly.
The second piece I got in the mail this morning from the National Writing Project. It’s a link on to materials on how to construct lessons that help kids analyze and organize around civic life.
To close, I just have this: I predict that we as a country are going to look back on ourselves in 2017 and 2018 with utter shame. We are being led by someone who has appealed to our ugliest instincts against each other. The only thing to do now is to ask ourselves who we really are as people, what we really stand for as a country, and to rise to the challenge.
Here’s what I know for sure. Young people are every nation’s hope, and I stand with them.