Educators, students and community leaders rally to Build Schools, Not Walls on May 1

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By Kate Snyder

NEA and the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS) are joining together on May 1st in actions across the country. Educators, activists and community leaders demand that President Trump and our elected leaders in Washington focus their efforts on building schools, not walls.

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Thousands of people are planning to take action on May 1st to show communities united against hate and bias and ready to stand up to ensure there are resources and opportunities for all students. Join the efforts and stand in solidarity to make sure that schools are welcoming and supportive of immigrant students and their families.

“In this political climate we see increased absenteeism and anxiety in our immigrant students. There is an out and out fear of what may happen to them. It breaks your heart to see students and parents have difficulties separating in the morning. As you can imagine, students who have to remember to carry the names of adults they should contact if their parents are caught in an ICE raid have difficulty remembering classroom lessons,” explained Trish Gorman, President of the Oakland Education Association (OEA).

In California OEA members have plans for walk-ins at the beginning of the school day, teach-ins throughout the day. In the afternoon, OEA will participate in a city-wide March for Immigrant and Worker Rights. OEA has partnered with the AROS walk ins since February of 2016, and the May 1 actions will build on the enthusiasm and infrastructure from previous events.

“It important that we are allies in the struggles of the community and that we advocate for all of our students. In these times, protection of all of our public institutions, but especially our public schools will only be ensured by the demands of a united community,” said Trish.

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