April 8, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Philadelphia,Pa - With President Donald Trump demanding a crackdown on illegal immigration, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers sponsored an after-school workshop called “Protecting Our Immigrant Students” on Mar. 29.
“Our children come to school frightened and stressed,” PFT president Jerry Jordan told the about 50 educators who came to get legal and practical advice. Teachers told stories about undocumented parents afraid to drop their kids off at school, soccer players too scared to turn out after immigration agents visited their league one weekend, and a sixth-grade teacher getting frantic texts from a student with ICE agents at her door. Cesar Moreno Perez, associate director for human rights with the American Federation of Teachers, said teachers should watch for warning signs, such as eating disorders or excessive crying. Others offered legal advice, such as where students’ families can go to find free lawyers. “I want to be able to give them accurate information,” said April Marinell, who teaches English as a second language at a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school in North Philadelphia. She called the workshop “really helpful.” Read more