- Los Angeles Unified School District
L.A. Unified Board of Education Unanimously Approves Resolution to Support Afghan Refugee Families (9-14-2021)
Contact: Ally Salvaria, Communications Director For Immediate Release
Phone: (818) 726-6151
L.A. Unified Board of Education Unanimously Approves Resolution toSupport Afghan Refugee Families
LOS ANGELES, CA – September 14, 2021 – The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education voted today to unanimously approve Board Vice President Nick Melvoin’s resolution to support Afghan refugee families and reaffirm the District’s commitment to welcome students of all backgrounds and nationalities into our school communities.
“In thinking about the recent events unfolding in Afghanistan from the perspective of a school district, I wanted to see not just what we could say, but really what we could do to support Afghan refugee families coming to Los Angeles to build a new life,” Board Vice President Melvoin said. “More broadly, this is a moment to reflect and make sure that every newcomer student in LA Unified feels welcome, supported, and safe in our school communities.”
The resolution also recognized the important advocacy of California's congressional members, led by U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, and aims to build on that work to open doors and welcome refugee families from Afghanistan not just into our country, state, and city, but also into our school communities.
“Afghan students from around the world are experiencing anxiety and sadness as they watch and wonder what will happen to their home, family and friends,” Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly said. “As leaders, we must walk alongside them and support them in every way. Los Angeles Unified welcomes all students and we remain committed to providing them a safe place to learn, thrive and grow.”
“Our school district has made a steadfast commitment to welcoming and supporting our immigrant families,” Board President Kelly Gonez said. “I’m happy to stand with my colleagues to reaffirm our support of refugees and newcomers fleeing the tragic events in Afghanistan. I’m confident they’ll find the stability, support, and resources they need as we welcome them to our schools.”
“All children are welcome at our schools regardless of race, ethnicity, origin or immigration status,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said. “At Los Angeles Unified, we are experienced at helping students who have experienced trauma. We are prepared to assist any Afghan refugee—and any student—who enrolls in our schools.”
“There is no space for hate and violence anywhere in the world and I want our families and communities to know that Los Angeles Unified is a space where all are welcome,” Board Member Mónica García said. “Los Angeles Unified is a place to learn, grow, and to be loved and we stand in support of refugee students from Afghanistan.”
“The United States has always symbolized freedom and a safe place where immigrants and refugees from around the world can start a new life without fear of discrimination or retaliation,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said. “In light of the recent influx of refugees from Afghanistan, the District is committed to ensuring every student receives a quality education in a safe and welcoming environment. I applaud my colleagues for taking this step and call for increased support from our legislators.”
“Los Angeles Unified will always fully support immigrants and refugees,” Board Member Jackie Goldberg said. “It’s important that we continue to state that support publicly, especially at a time when we’re seeing the plight of refugees from Afghanistan. We embrace refugees, understand our role in making them feel welcome at our schools, and look forward to providing all Afghan and other refugees enrolled at Los Angeles Unified with a quality education.”
“Today’s resolution in support of students who are refugees from Afghanistan reaffirms our commitment to welcoming all students and families to Los Angeles Unified,” Board Member Tanya Ortiz Frankin said. “In a time and a world where things can be so unstable, we are privileged to open our doors to all seeking safety, connection and public education.
Nick Melvoin is proud to serve the dynamic communities of District 4 as Vice President of the LA Unified Board of Education. Nick’s election to the Board in May of 2017 follows a career fighting for our city’s schoolchildren. He believes that together, with the right leadership, we can ensure that every student in Los Angeles has the opportunity to succeed. Board District 4 stretches westward from Hollywood to the ocean, and from Westchester up to the Northwest San Fernando Valley.
If you would like more information about this topic, please call Ally Salvaria at 818-726-6151 or email at Ally.Salvaria@LAUSD.net.