Society

Teacher Tells Students Their Parents Will Be Deported

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A student recorded a Los Angeles, California, teacher telling his class that their parents would be deported under a Donald Trump presidency.

A sixth grade student at Bret Harte Preparatory Middle School recorded the substitute physical education teacher’s remarks on Nov. 9, the day after Trump won the presidential election. Her family shared the recording with KNBC.

"If you were born here, then your parents got to go,” the teacher allegedly said to Jennifer Reynaga’s 11-year-old daughter. "Then they will leave you behind, and you will be in foster care."

Reynaga expected backlash after Trump became president because of his proposed policy to deport undocumented immigrants, but not from a teacher.

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"I would think the kids would do it, but I never thought a teacher would do it," she said.

Reynaga’s daughter asked the teacher: “How are they going to find me?” according to KCBS.

He allegedly replied: “I got your phone numbers, your address, your mama’s address, your daddy’s address. It’s all in the system, sweetie. And when they come and there’s an illegal, they gotta go!”

The teacher, who is reportedly a long-term substitute at the school, scared one student whose father is an undocumented immigrant.

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“I was scared because how can a teacher tell us that," the female student said. "He’s just rubbing it in that Trump won. We already know that. I worry about my dad because I had a nightmare that he wasn’t with me any more.”

The girl added that the teacher made the threats because students were not paying attention in class.

One student’s father questioned the teacher’s actions by saying, “I don’t know how a teacher could say that to a kid."

The Reynagas' daughter and other students filed complaints against the teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District; the teacher has since been fired.

"You have scared children," Steve Zimmer, board president of the Los Angeles Unified School District, said, according to KNBC. "One of most important things you can do is make sure that children who have qualified for [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)] know that they are safe and their status is secure."

DACA, established in 2012, allows certain people who came to the U.S. as children with undocumented parents to receive a permit -- renewable every two years -- allowing them to legally remain in the country.

Under Trump’s proposed immigration policy, it is unclear whether DACA will continue to exist.

"There will be no amnesty," Trump said in September 2016 at a campaign event. "Our message to the world will be this: You cannot obtain legal status or become a citizen of the United States by illegally entering our country."

The Public Policy Institute of California estimates that 13 percent of K-12 students in California have a parent who is an undocumented immigrant.

Sources: KNBC, KCBS / Photo credit: U.S. Department of Education/Flickr

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