Society

Report: Teacher Won't Teach Students In US Illegally (Video)

| by Michael Allen

A teacher at James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, reportedly sent an email to faculty members on March 8 announcing he would not teach students in the country illegally (video below).

A school counselor began the exchange with an email about nationwide statistics about students staying home because they feared being deported, according to KHNL.

That's when social studies teacher John Sullivan reportedly responded with a defense of President Donald Trump and more:

This is another attack on the President over deportation. Their parents need to apply for immigration like everyone else. If they are here in the US illegally, I won't teach them.

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Donalyn Dela Cruz of the Department of Education said: "In all of our public schools, we serve all children, all students from any background. So seeing an email like that is really disheartening."

Jon Henry Lee, the high school's principal, concurred:

We don't discriminate against any individuals. Of course, there's the race, gender, sexual orientation, and I reference the national origin. So I just reminded him of that. We're going to service all students that are registered in our school.

"I would not equate [Sullivan's email] to free speech," Dela Cruz added. "It's an improper use of school email."

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Sullivan told KHNL the situation was a "misunderstanding," saying, "My comment in the email refers to [the email's title] if students is kept home, teachers cannot teach them."

"I can't speak about what appropriate action will be taken against this teacher," Dela Cruz said. "But, rest assured, appropriate action will be taken."

Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, indicated that he could not comment on Sullivan, but added: "At the same time, HSTA strongly believes that every child has the right to an education, regardless of their immigration status."

As a matter of record, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that children in the country illegally, K-12, have the right to a free public education.

The U.S. Department of Justice had to remind public schools of this ruling in a 2011 letter, noted The Dallas Morning News:

Recently, we have become aware of student enrollment practices that may chill or discourage the participation, or lead to the exclusion, of students based on their or their parents' or guardians' actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status...

[I]nquiring into students' citizenship or immigration status, or that of their parents or guardians would not be relevant to establishing residency within the district.

Sources: KHNL, The Dallas Morning News / Photo credit: James Campbell High School

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