Take Action NOW: Support Arab Students and Families in SFUSD
Our district says it cares about Arab students. Nonetheless, when it comes to resourcing schools to support them in meeting the needs of students and families… Lately, I’m hearing *crickets*.
After the election, Arab students came to my daughters’ school in tears, literally. They asked why the president hated them and their families. With a Muslim Ban, they are right to be fearful. They and their families are under attack. Now, more than ever we need to show students and families we have their backs.
And it will take more than safety-pin posters, and flowery letters to do this.
Standing up and with Arab families…
The Arab Resource Organizing Center (AROC) is an Bay Area organization dedicated to serving Arab families. It is currently under attack by an anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, Israel interest group. As a result, SFUSD has declined to renew its contract with them, thus leaving hundreds of families without much-needed support in our schools.
Supporting Arab students and families, also means supporting school staff. Our counselors, teachers and support staff are at wit’s end trying to mediate typical student conflicts and support students’ academic and emotional needs. Imagine how much harder that is when NO ONE ON STAFF speaks Arabic? Small incidents escalate, kids and families learn they are in their own, and misunderstandings by non-Arab students grows.
What Allyship really means…
I’m challenging SFUSD leadership to put its money where its mouth is. District leaders don’t get a cookie for just SAYING they care about Arab families. True allyship means standing up and with marginalized folks when it matters most–when it’s uncomfortable, when it disrupts the status quo, when it challenges power and privilege.