Many students in Pennsylvania schools are undocumented immigrants. Although it’s normal for their families to face deportation threats, some of the threats against students come from within their schools.
How are students being threatened?
Students who are undocumented immigrants have faced unfair treatment and discrimination just because of their status. A student from South Asia was subjected to going through a metal detector daily when he was in high school. Even after passing through the detector, he was patted down by a school officer for potentially hidden weapons.
Even the way he dressed was attacked. He wore traditional Muslim attire for his shirt and was taunted by school administrators and teachers about it. They compared his clothing to what terrorists typically wear and questioned him about his family choosing the U.S. or their home country. This is unfair treatment and harassment that no student should have to endure.
Some teachers expressed concern that undocumented immigrant students could adversely affect their teaching records. Such students have more likelihood of having difficulty with standardized tests. Low scores could result in a change ins school administration or even result in schools closing. These issues contribute to the unfair treatment of students.
Immigrant students disproportionately impacted by school law enforcement
School law enforcement officers often target undocumented immigrant students. Some of the officials act like immigration officers, which can lead to problems for the students, especially if they are people of color. Disproportionate disciplining can lead to trouble during immigration hearings and result in the threat of deportation or actual deportation.
Students should be protected instead of threatened. Some schools have taken measures to protect undocumented immigrants to prevent potential criminal records and deportation.
There are many students who don’t get protection. Fighting back might be the only option.