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El Weekender

No 90

Will Arlington School Trustees and Superintendent
Stand for DACA?

By Luis C. Castillo

In early September, President Donald Trump announced that the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program aimed at youths who were brought to the United States illegally as children would come to an end in six months. But President Trump also urged Congress to come up with a permanent replacement.

Last month the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) Board of Trustees voted 8-0 in favor of a resolution supporting the DACA program. The school Board’s action came days after the district’s Superintendent Kent Scribner used social media to defend undocumented students who are pursuing an education through the expiring DACA program. Superintendent Scribner and FWISD’s Board of Trustees are to be commended for their bold and compassion leadership.

The fact that Superintendent Scribner took the initiative on this all too important policy issue speaks volumes of the caliber of his character. It is worth noting what Scribner posted on Facebook. (DACA’s expiration) “would have a devastating effect on members of the Fort Worth ISD family”. “Current high school seniors who have college within reach could be forced to alter their post-secondary plans. Our graduates currently in college may not be able to successfully move their lives forward. The impact this decision will have on many students and their families in the Fort Worth ISD community will be far-reaching.”

The majority of Fort Worth’s school district students – 86,000 - are listed as Hispanic, according to state data.

Meanwhile here in Arlington where Hispanic students comprise the largest ethnic group, School Board Trustees and the Superintendent sentiments on DACA are much less enthlasis and maybe more on the pitiful side.

Shortly after Fort Worth’s Board of Trustees resolution on DACA became public, this writer emailed Arlington school district Superintendent Dr. Cavazos and Board of Trustee Justin Chapa both Hispanics. (The latter was recently appointed by the Board of Trustees to serve the remaining term of Trustee Jaime Sullins who resigned her post.) A link to the Star-Telegram’s news story regarding Fort Worth’s school trustees’ resolution was included on the short email. Dr. Cavazos and Trustee Chapa were pointedly asked, “Will either of you or both of you take the leadership initiative to pursue a similar action for AISD?” That was three weeks ago and as of this writing no response or indication thereof has been demonstrated that a DACA show-of-support resolution is in the making.

Given the history of the Arlington School Board one can rest assured that the school district always sieges the opportunity to illustrate to the Latino community that the Board of Trustees are the oppressors and that Latinos opinions, concerns, or issues don’t matter. It would be a miracle if Arlington’s school district Superintendent and Trustees undertake the bold action as that of the Fort Worth school board. Don’t wait for any miracles any time soon.



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