Our work around education equity is rooted in the God-given dignity of every child — so when children are harmed through unjust policies, its something every person of faith should be concerned about. We condemn in the strongest possible terms any actions taken by our government that inflict unnecessary trauma on children. We stand with those who are advocating for an immediate end to family separation and for a path to compassionate immigration reform.
Here are some stories we came across last week that attest to the trauma that these children are exposed to.
“It is a form of child abuse,” Kraft told CBS News. “This type of trauma can be long-lasting, and it’s difficult to recover from this. We know very young children go on to not develop their speech, not develop their language, not develop their gross and fine motor skills and wind up with developmental delays.”
“Two of the most damaging childhood adversities are loss of the attachment bond with the parents and childhood physical and sexual abuse,” University of Texas psychiatry professor Luis Zayas told ABC News. “If you want to damage someone permanently, expose him or her to one or both of these traumas.”
The number of migrant children in U.S. government custody is soaring — partly the result of a policy decision by the Trump administration to separate children from their parents who are being prosecuted for unlawful entry. Hundreds of the children being held in shelters are under age 13.
Pediatricians and immigrant advocates are warning that separating migrant children from their families can cause “toxic stress” that disrupts a child’s brain development and harms long-term health.
A Troubling Prognosis for Migrant Children in Detention: ‘The Earlier They’re Out, the Better’ via The New York Times
The Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents has alarmed child psychologists and experts who study human development.
Some youngsters retreat entirely, their eyes empty, bodies limp, their isolation a wall of defiance. Others cannot sit still: watchful, hyperactive, ever uncertain. Some compulsively jump into the laps of strangers, or grab their legs and hold on for life. And some children, somehow, move past a sudden separation from their parents, tapping a well of resilience.
One thing to read this week…
All Children Have a Right to Learn via US News
Our nation was built through the strong contributions of immigrants like our parents and grandparents and we cannot turn our backs on the next generation. We cannot deny any child who calls our nation home the opportunity to learn and thrive.
The job of public education officials is to protect our students and our Constitution. We have an obligation to all children. That is why educators around the country are working with school boards to pass Safe Zones resolutions to affirm the very principles and commitment to uphold Plyler v. Doe and to provide school employees with clear protocols to create welcoming and safe learning environments for their students.
Did any of these articles particularly speak to you? We would love to know your thoughts! Let us know in the comments below: