Highline Public Schools announces support for Refugee & Immigrant Communities

In response to emerging reports of hate speech and violence directed at refugee and immigrant communities, Highline Public Schools announced Friday (Dec. 2) that it is joining over 50 local organizations and community leaders to sign a statement articulating their support of targeted communities.

This statement, signed by a wide variety of large and small organizations, reaffirms the organizations and the United States’ historic commitment to accepting and valuing refugees and immigrants.

The statement of support (see below) was drafted by the Northwest Refugee and Immigrant Health Coalition (NWIRHC), a group of doctors, social workers, educators, resettlement workers, public health practitioners, and community organizers who have been working together since 2011 to improve the health of refugees and asylum seekers in Western Washington. Concerned for their well-being, and in response to harassment and fears expressed by their clients/patients/community, they felt compelled to issue a statement of support for them in the face of a rise of hate speech particularly directed against Muslims, refugees, and undocumented immigrants.


In addition, Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield sent a letter to all Highline families articulating the district’s deep commitment of respecting and supporting all students and families in Highline.

“While taunts and name-calling were astonishingly accepted on the campaign trail, we have not tolerated such behavior in our schools, and we will not – ever,” Enfield said. “For my part as superintendent, I renew my commitment to ensuring that students feel safe and nurtured in our schools. Our promise of knowing every student by name, strength, and need means that every student feels respected and supported.”

Read Dr. Enfield’s entire letter online at bit.ly/OpenLetterNov2016.

To learn more about the NWIRHC statement of support or to find out how participating agencies are working to support and help protect immigrant and refugee communities, please check out the coalition website: www.nwirhc.org or contact Beth Farmer at 206-683-4512 / [email protected].


5 Responses to “Highline Public Schools announces support for Refugee & Immigrant Communities”
  1. My Rants says:

    Highline Public Schools should stick to education. We do not support them to participate in social activism. Shame on the waste of taxpayer resources. The school district can support these migrant children after they hit the schools with their special needs. Until that time they should stay clear of the fray.

    • Mysty Beal says:

      HSD does stick to education, but they must educate the students that are sent to them. My children came up through the Highline School District and were grateful for the diversity – we could have attended all-white wealthy Bainbridge or Mercer Island, but that’s not what the world looks like. Instead, my kids found opportunities to teach those of less opportunities to swim and to teach others. We attended dinners put on by Pacific Islander parents, and evenings of Hispanic heritage – we all learned something from it.

      Why don’t you?

      Please explain your assertion of the waste of taxpayer resources. Please check the LA TIMES article that California is fighting the attempt to deport undocumented immigrants because they add $137 million to the state economy. You really have to get over the Fox news idea that immigrants cost us – their success might make you feel worthless, but the orchards in Eastern WA would be plowed under without them.

  2. BirchCreek says:

    Historically, if I remember my education correctly, all immigrant communities have not been accepted with open arms and without racism. Chinese workers on the railroads, Irish excaping the potato famine… So lets be intellectually honest and realistic about this situation. What we are wanting to do is to grow past our racist past and be more “inclusive”. BUT, our nation was called the “Big Melting Pot” in the past. Newly arriving immigrants need to adapt to our culture. All of our ancestors had to. I believe that is the only way we are all going to survive this.
    Hopefully the opinion of this “privelidged, middle aged white guy” is valid also.

  3. Mysty Beal says:

    Yep, yep, and hope to share a Margarita with you at the next Cinco de Mayo – or an ale during St. Patrick;s Day festivities, or an Ouzo – you get my drift. Why is it that people that aren’t like you seem to scare you? Geez, they’re only people that want the same thing that you do – a chance for themselves and their families. They aren’t the billionaire class that want to cut their taxes and in return offer you less than a family-wage living. Immigrants are not our enemies, just another class where the wealthy rob their labor to enrich themselves. Don’t know why you don’t get it – mebbe read a book, and mebbe that book should be by Ta-henise Coates…

    • BirchCreek says:

      Mysty, assumption is the mother of all confusion.
      You assume to know me by the tenor of you ad hominem diatribe.
      Just for your personal edification and correction:
      I’ve worked with medical refugees and the poor in needy in 6 different countries, besides working in migrant worker camps here in the USA, let alone the migrant communites that frequent the local ER I work in. So, I get it, the world is a difficult place to exist in and we have it so good. You and I live like Kings here in the US, for instance as compaired to slums in Manila, and we aren’t even the “billionaire class”!
      Immigrants “enemies” – where did you get that from my writing? They enrich our culture. Look at our foods, language… ALL of us immigrated to this continent! We all adapted. BUT don’t come to our nation and tell us we have to change our culture to become just like the nation you came from. If that was so good there, why come here? Certain political, cultural and religious systems obviously work better than others.
      And yes I read, I read a lot, from philosophy, history, religion, current events, nordic and middle eastern literature, fiction.

      “MEBBE”??? oh you mean maybe! Maybe you should pull the “misty” blinds off of your eyes and read some history, or, perhaps, the opinions of others with which you seem to disagree, so that you might gain an understanding that not everybody thinks like you. You seem to have been “drinking the coolaid” and can only espouse divisive rhetoric. I get the feeling that the “Big Melting Pot” is only inclusive of people who think like you.

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