SAN JOSE, CA – On Monday, July 2, County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Mary Ann Dewan sent a letter to the Office of the President of the United States asking for the reunification of divided families.
The letter asks for "ethical and moral leadership" as well as "kindness and compassion." It was written in response to the recent increased U.S.-Mexico border enforcement which has led to the separation of immigrant families. While an executive order was signed by the president on June 20, to cease family separation, approximately 2,000 families have yet to be reunited according to a recent report by CNN. The trauma caused by the zero-tolerance measures reaches far beyond the U.S.-Mexico border.
"At the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE), we have initiatives in place to support social-emotional well-being of children in our community, we have gathered resources for families, what to do if you approached by immigration agents, what documents you should carry with you, we also provide lists of local legal services providers," said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, County Superintendent of Schools.
The letter states, "Throughout my county, teachers are having difficult conversations with students because the trauma being inflicted on children by your administration hits close to home as every child's worst nightmare is to be torn away from their loved ones."
to trauma has a significant impact on people of all ages, it affects "the
social, emotional, and physical well-being of the child."
"It is unacceptable and has the potential to cause irreparable harm to the children victimized by these actions. Children could face long-lasting anxiety, depression, and other forms of mental illness that could impair their performance at school and cause problems throughout their lives," the letter states.
"I do not know whether the President will read my letter, but it is my sincerest hope that consideration is given toward kindness and compassion," added Dr. Dewan.
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About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 23 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.