Highline Public Schools announces support for Refugee & Immigrant Communities

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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].

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9 Responses to “Highline Public Schools announces support for Refugee & Immigrant Communities”
  1. Dan Wright says:

    Bravo, Highline Schools!

  2. Scotti says:

    Well done! All the children of our community need to know they are cared for and supported.

  3. Peter says:

    Oh boy. How courageous to say “we’re against hate and bad people.” Yay let’s all pat each other on the back. I am all for this as long as it is open to criticism of extremists on both sides. But this statement seems more like a thinly veiled attack on the guys who won, rather than a general statement affirming honest dialogue and mutual respect for differences of opinion. Many of the groups that signed this represent cocoons of narrow minded group think, not open to actual diversity of opinion. Too bad.

    • kim says:

      Thank you for opening the door for more violence in Burien, as if the now residence of over 30+ yrs lives don’t matter. That’s sad that you encourage more violence by doing this to us! Shame on you for putting ALL lives in danger by encouraging more foreigners!

  4. Burien Human says:

    I know a lot of people who think La Raza is hate speech. It means “The Race”
    I know a lot of people who think Susan Enfields agenda is hate filled.
    They have the bully pulpit right now.
    But that is changing.
    Donald Trump said he wants to be President of all Americans.
    Sounds pretty inclusive to me.

  5. paul o. says:

    This is taking a strong political position. The people with an opinion based on enforcement of emigration law as it exists should be refunded their tax dollars. Anyone from the school district that signed on this announcement should be investigated for conflict of interest in refusing to provide a non biased education.

  6. paul o. says:

    Coincidence this radical political statement is released after the levy vote? Low handed and will be remembered the next time High line school district is asking for more tax money.

  7. Katie H. says:

    Bravo, Highline School District!!!! This statement of support makes our community stronger and makes me proud to be a Burien resident.

    Education is a fundamental human right and every child and family should be safe and supported in our community.

    I am sad to see comments on here that suggest supporting a child is a radical idea or that this statement someone encourages violence. We may disagree on immigration policy but we should be in agreement that ALL children deserve to be educated, healthy and happy and never live in fear.

  8. Out here on the edge says:

    Maybe we should get back to teaching, with a focus on critical thinking, logic, history and political science, for starters.

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