Kate Childs Graham
WASHINGTON—Statement from AFT President Randi Weingarten on United We Dream's National Coming Out Day for educators and undocumented students.
"When students don't feel safe or able to be themselves at school, at home or in their communities, they suffer. We saw this in Alabama, where legislation was passed that forced schools to check students' immigration status. Outcry from parents, students, teachers, clergy and community activists led to that law being declared unconstitutional and unworkable.
Today, on this National Coming Out Day for educators and undocumented students, again we band together—parents, students, teachers and community members—to stand with those in our schools who are undocumented and want to "come out"—an act I know, as a gay woman, takes a lot of courage. As Congress fails to do the right thing and pass comprehensive immigration reform, it's vital that our schools remain safe havens, built on mutual trust between students and educators. Educators shouldn't be forced to be snitches. All students—no matter where they were born—should be able to dream their dreams and achieve them."