I got the call on Sunday night. It was reminding me of the news that I had heard on Saturday.
Oakland's Mayor, Libby Schaaf, sent out an alert about potential raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in and around her city. Our city. The call I received came from the communications director of the Oakland Unified School District, and we were reminded of our status as a sanctuary school district. ICE agents are not allowed to conduct their business on school grounds. We do not require proof of immigration status from our students. We are in the business of educating, not enforcing.
Interesting that this comes close on the heels of the suggestion that "weapons talented" staff members at schools should be given bonuses for using those talents, potentially, to shoot at suspected shooters. I suppose it's only a matter of time before those bonuses might be attached to the number of illegals we might help to deport.
This is the same creepy planet where we once used to tell our students that with the right education, they could grow up and be anything they wanted to be. Unless they are shot and killed. Or are rounded up in an immigration raid and sent back to the place they fled. It's all a part of keeping the American Dream exclusively American.
Whatever that means.
It makes me glad to see this group of students who are not willing to simply let things happen to them. By contrast, however, it does not make my job any easier. As a white male adult, when I say things to kids, it has to run through their filter which picks up my voice as one of authority. I'll keep you safe. I won't make your lives more difficult or dangerous.
There was no van waiting outside our school this morning. We didn't have an outrageous number of absences. Who knows if all our parents heard about the threat. I can't tell you with any certainty which of our families are worried about ICE.
I wish I could go back to just being a teacher.