GRPS: Deportation fears affecting attendance

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Public Faculties says attendance numbers are down, and officers say heightened worry of deportation is among the foremost causes.

The official County Day final week confirmed there have been one hundred fifteen fewer college students in GRPS, the district stated.

Whereas some faculties are seeing their numbers enhance, the district says faculties like Cesar E. Chavez Elementary, which is in a predominantly Hispanic and Latino neighborhood, are seeing a dramatic drop.

“Although I do know the varsity is a protected place, it’s a very protected place for the mother and father, there’s nonetheless that again of their minds that they’re afraid of that taking place to their youngsters,” Rocio Rodriguez, whose son attends Cesar Chavez, stated of many Latino mother and father. “Simply by even a automotive that appears totally different, the mother and father are getting actually afraid of that.

Standing in her 10-yr-previous son’s fifth grade classroom, Rodriguez stated the worry of deportation has some mother and father holding their youngsters out faculty.

“They (youngsters) hear what their mother and father are talking, so if their mother and father are scared, they’re going to be scared for his or her mother and father. They don’t know once they come residence if their mother and father are nonetheless going to be there,” Rodriguez stated.

Rodriguez, who was born in america, isn’t frightened about deportation or the security of her son. However she is aware of many households who’re scared to even speak to district officers who’re reaching out, hoping to assist get the youngsters again in class.

“You will have these which might be afraid to go away their houses,” GRPS spokesman John Helmholdt stated. “We have now been to a house the place you knock on the door and you may hear them operating out the again.”

The district says the attendance has dropped so dramatically in some faculties that they’re down a whole class measurement.

Figures present probably the most vital declines at:

  • Cesar Chavez, which counted forty one fewer college students than anticipated;
  • Buchanan Elementary, which had 28 fewer college students;
  • Brookside Elementary, the place there have been 22 fewer college students;
  • Burton Elementary and Center Faculty, which noticed a complete of twenty-two fewer college students than projected.

All of these faculties are in predominantly Hispanic and Latino neighborhoods.

“You will have the immigration fears and realities that embrace households which will have had a member of the family who was deported and all the household left,” Helmholdt stated.

Aimee Garcia, the principal of Cesar Chavez, stated that about eighty % of the scholar inhabitants is Hispanic.

“We’ve got households…

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