Archive for the “Education” Category

Richard Espinoza-Valdez

East Valley Tribune

The investigation started after a Saguaro High School student noticed a lunch worker following a classmate while angling a box lid with a camera hidden in it under her skirt.

That student notified administrators. And a day later, Richard Espinoza-Valdez, 28, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was arrested on charges that could land him in jail for seven years.

Espinoza-Valdez, who had worked at three Scottsdale schools as a temporary food services, was arrested Nov. 6.

A clearer picture of how police identified victims emerged Tuesday, when police released the report in the case.

A student originally alerted the school about the worker?s behavior Nov. 5. Assistant principals Robert Akhbari and Greg Sackos watched Espinoza-Valdez during lunch the next day as he followed a girl in a short dress, angling the box top beneath her skirt, the report says.

The administrators asked Espinoza-Valdez if they could look through his camera. He obliged.

Akhbari noticed a recent video clip, but couldn?t make it play. When he asked Espinoza-Valdez to play the clip, the food worker instead deleted the image and denied anything inappropriate had been on the camera.

When police interviewed him, Espinoza-Valdez admitted to taking 10 videos at Saguaro, Chaparral High School and Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Espinoza-Valdez told police he had started his videotaping about a month earlier. He said he enjoyed looking at them and was especially interested in capturing images of girls between 16 and 19.

Police recovered three deleted videos featuring images from under girls? skirts.

In the next few days, police identified three victims between the ages of 14 and 17.

Police have stopped looking for additional victims, Sgt. Mark Clark said. ?We?re not able to determine where the rest of (the incidents) took place, so we don?t believe there is anymore follow up we can do to identify victims,? he said.

Two Saguaro victims told police they hadn?t been aware the video had been taken. One student said she noticed a food services worker walking close behind her, ?but was afraid to turn around and confront him.?

Espinoza-Valdez was indicted on one felony count of surreptitious videotaping and photographing, two counts of attempted surreptitious videotaping and photographing and two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct.

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Star Telegram

Washington, DC — Half of the nearly 3.5 million immigrants living in Texas are in the country illegally, according to a report scheduled for release today by the Center for Immigration Studies.

Using the latest Census Bureau data, the center found that Texas has one of the fastest-growing immigrant populations of any state and that 50 percent of the state’s foreign-born population — slightly more than 1.7 million people — are illegal immigrants.

Only Arizona at 65 percent, North Carolina at 58 percent and Georgia at 53 percent had a higher proportion of illegal immigrants in their immigrant populations.

Historians call it the Golden Age of Immigration: the early 1900s, when thousands arrived each day at Ellis Island, pushing New Jersey’s foreign-born population to more than one-fourth of all residents.

But a massive new wave of immigrants that began in the 1980s, already far larger in sheer numbers than the heyday of Ellis Island, may soon eclipse that percentage, according to a report released today.

New Jersey’s foreign-born population is 21.6 percent, according to the study by the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington think tank that lobbies for lower immigration levels. And as growing numbers of U.S.-born New Jerseyans move away, the share of immigrants in the state is rapidly approaching the all-time high of 26 percent, reached in 1910.

In New Jersey and nationwide, the report found, the past seven years have been the historic pinnacle of immigration, with 1.5 million people arriving in the United States legally or illegally each year. New Jersey’s foreign-born population now stands at 1.87 million.

‘Some people argue there’s been a crackdown on illegal immigration and legal immigration is harder,’ said Steve Camarota, the center’s research director and author of the study. ‘The anecdotes may be true on their own, but they belie what we’ve seen in the data.’

USA Today

The study, an analysis of 2007 Census data, concludes that there are 37.9 million foreign-born residents in the USA. It estimates that at least 11.3 million of those immigrants are in the country illegally.

One of the key findings is that 31% of immigrant adults don’t have a high school diploma, compared with 8% of U.S.-born residents.

That is important, Camarota says, because it correlates with high rates of welfare and poverty: 33% of households headed by immigrants use at least one major welfare program such as the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program, compared with 19% of U.S.-born households. “It costs a lot of money,” he says. “Does it make sense to bring in lots of people who don’t have lots of education?”

WASHINGTON (November 29, 2007) ? A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies examines the size, growth, and characteristics of the nation?s immigrant, or foreign-born, population as of March 2007. The reported provides a detailed picture of overall immigrant population, and of the illegal immigrant population specifically.

The report, ?Immigrants in the United States, 2007: A Profile of America?s Foreign-Born Population,? is online at CIS.

Among the report?s findings:

# The immigrant population (legal and illegal) reached a record of 37.9 million in 2007.

# Immigrants account for one in eight U.S. residents, the highest level in 80 years.

# Overall, nearly one in three immigrants is an illegal alien. Half of Mexican and Central American immigrants and one-third of South American immigrants are illegal.

# Since 2000, 10.3 million immigrants have arrived ? the highest seven-year period of immigration in U.S. history. More than half of post-2000 arrivals (5.6 million) are estimated to be illegal aliens.

# Of adult immigrants, 31 percent have not completed high school, compared to 8 percent of natives. The share of immigrants and natives with a college degree is about the same.

# 33 percent of immigrant-headed households use at least one welfare program, compared to 19 percent for native households. Among households headed by immigrants from Mexico, the largest single group, 51 percent use at least one welfare program.

# The poverty rate for immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) is 17 percent, nearly 50 percent higher than the rate for natives and their children.

# 34 percent of immigrants lack health insurance, compared to 13 percent of natives. Immigrants and their U.S.-born children account for 71 percent of the increase in the uninsured since 1989.

# The primary reason for the high rates of immigrant poverty, lack of health insurance, and welfare use is their low education levels, not their legal status or an unwillingness to work.

# Of immigrant households, 82 percent have at least one worker, compared to 73 percent of native households.

# Immigrants make significant progress over time. But even those who have been here for 20 years are more likely to be in poverty, lack insurance, or use welfare than are natives.

# There is a worker present in 78 percent of immigrant households using at least one welfare program.

# Immigration accounts for virtually all of the national increase in public school enrollment over the last two decades. In 2007, there were 10.8 million school-age children from immigrant families in the United States.

# Immigrants and natives have similar rates of entrepreneurship ? 13 percent of natives and 11 percent of immigrants are self-employed.

# Recent immigration has had no significant impact on the nation?s age structure. Without the 10.3 million post-2000 immigrants, the average age in America would be virtually unchanged at 36.5 years.

# Detailed information is provided for Texas, California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Washington, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.

Data Source: The Current Population Survey provides the data for the study. It was collected by the Census Bureau in March 2007 and has not been fully analyzed until now. There is agreement among policy experts, including the Department of Homeland Security, that roughly 90 percent of illegal immigrants respond to Census Bureau surveys of this kind. This allows for separate estimates of the size and characteristics of the illegal immigrant population.

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The boy maintains that he never said it (”Brown people)”; that the words were put in his mouth by the parent who questioned him. That parent happens to be the mother of the student with whom he is having a conflict?and she happens to work for Abraham Lincoln as a detention-room officer.

The tape indicates that rather than just spouting off with racial invective, the boy was asked first why he didn’t want to cooperate with brown people by the parent/school official.

In court, this might be called entrapment. Not to mention a conflict of interest.

AZ Central

A Glendale elementary school principal has admitted to telling a 9-year old boy that it is OK to have racist feelings as long as you keep them to yourself.

?As we said to (the boy) when he was in here, in your heart you may have that feeling, and that is OK if that is your personal belief,? Abraham Lincoln Traditional School Principal Virginia Voinovich said in a tape-recorded parent-teacher conference.

The boy was suspended for three days this month for allegedly committing a ?hate crime? by using the expression ?brown people.?

In an interview Monday, Voinovich would not address her comments, first saying she didn’t remember the incident, then demanding a copy of the recording and finally insisting that she could not talk about a student’s discipline.

The circumstances of the boy?s suspension itself raise troubling questions about student discipline, interrogation and oversight at Abraham Lincoln.

According to school officials, the boy made a statement about ?brown people? to another elementary student with whom he was having a conflict. They maintain it was his second offense using the phrase.

But the tape recording indicates this only came out after another parent was allowed to question the boy and elicited from him the statement that he ?doesn’t cooperate with brown people.?

After that was reported to the boy’s teacher, he was made to stand in front of his class and publicly confess what he’d said.

The boy maintains that he never said it; that the words were put in his mouth by the parent who questioned him. That parent happens to be the mother of the student with whom he is having a conflict?and she happens to work for Abraham Lincoln as a detention-room officer.

The tape indicates that rather than just spouting off with racial invective, the boy was asked first why he didn’t want to cooperate with brown people by the parent/school official.

In court, this might be called entrapment. Not to mention a conflict of interest.

Officials at the Washington Elementary School District, who are supposed to oversee Voinovich, wouldn’t comment about the boy?s suspension. They said only the principal is qualified to talk about it.

Well, the boy?s mother is talking, and she is angry. She has also removed her son from the school.

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I doubt many illegal students will come forward and admit to being illegal. Most will continue to use their stolen social security numbers and fraudulent drivers licenses and claim they are a citizen.

Citizen Times

RALEIGH ? Under a new statewide policy, students may not be denied access to community colleges because they entered the country illegally.

A 2004 rule that left decisions up to the schools was made in error, the community college system said. Most schools already admit undocumented immigrants ? about 340 are enrolled in classes ? but as many as 20 schools could see changes.

A Nov. 7 memo from the community-college system tells colleges to ?immediately begin admitting undocumented individuals.?

Opponents of illegal immigration sparred with the system?s leaders Tuesday over whether the policy would subsidize illegal immigrants.

Far from it, said General Counsel David Sullivan, who sent the memo to the colleges. Such students pay out-of-state tuition rates, so the state profits from admitting them.

Out-of-state students each pay about $2,000 more per year than the cost of educating them, which can run up to $5,400, Sullivan said.

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Huckabee announces his desire to give scholarships to illegal aliens in his January 11, 2005 State of the State address. Huckabee doesn’t say “illegal aliens”. He uses the word “status”. But a newspaper account makes clear his intentions, “Illegal aliens would be eligible for state taxpayer-funded college scholarships and in-state college tuition rates under a bill that was endorsed by a committee of the Arkansas House of Representatives on Tuesday. House Bill 1525 by Rep. Joyce Elliott, D-Little Rock, is part of Gov. Mike Huckabee?s legislative package. It easily won favor in the House Education Committee, of which Elliott is chairman.” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 2/23/2005)

Rep. Joyce Elliott, D-Little Rock, said she had already planned to file a bill granting instate status to the children of immigrants who live in Arkansas and have applied to state universities. “It?s nice to know we will have an ally in the governor?s office.” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 1/12/05)

Another newspaper account, “Gov. Mike Huckabee, who included the bill in his legislative package, drew a contrast between Wednesday’s vote in support of illegal immigrants and the state’s handling of the 1957 desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School. “They took a stand that Arkansas can be proud of,”Huckabee said in describing the House. “I think if we had taken a similar one in 1957, it would have made us proud for a long, long time.” ” (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 2/24/2005)

Huckabee was insinuating that not giving taxpayer funded benefits to illegal aliens was akin to stopping the Little Rock Nine from attending Central High. Therefore, we’re all racists if we don’t think that we should have to give illegal aliens college scholarships, saying nothing of the U.S. citizens who would lose out on that same opportunity.

Huckabee calling those of us in Arkansas who opposed illegal immigration racists was par for the course. He went so far as to suggest that a Republican legislator wasn’t a good Christian for proposing a bill to prohibit spending taxpayer money to give illegal aliens benefits, saying that he drank a different kind of “Jesus juice”.

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LA Times

State schools Supt. Jack O’Connell hosted a summit in Sacramento last week of 4,000 educators, policymakers and experts. He asked them to confront California’s “racial achievement gap” — the persistently lower test scores of California’s African American and Latino public school students compared with their white and Asian peers. In 125 packed sessions, participants probed causes of the gap and offered strategies to close it. O’Connell asked them to “honestly and courageously face this pernicious problem,” and for two days, the capital was abuzz with ideas, energy and even some hope.

Strikingly, the state’s other “achievement gap” was barely mentioned at the summit; this is the gap between California and the rest of the nation.

The most recent results from the National Assessment of Education Progress test (popularly known as “the nation’s report card”) place California’s fourth- and eighth-graders below those in nearly every other state in math and reading achievement. (Although California’s math scores have improved over the last decade, so have the scores in the rest of the country.)

This national achievement gap affects students across the state regardless of their race. If we don’t address both the racial and national achievement gaps, it’s hard to imagine solving either one

For example, for years, people have been describing and lamenting California’s general decline in education. We’ve all heard it. Test scores of California’s Latino and African American students are, on average, among the lowest in the country. However, white students don’t do well either, and by a wide margin: California’s white eighth-graders score below white eighth-graders in every state but West Virginia and Nevada on the NAEP reading test.

In other subjects and at other grades, California’s white students score below white students in most other states.

Is there a problem with California’s white students? Do they or their parents care less about education than white students in Connecticut or Iowa? No one asks these questions about white students. Yet many people have no qualms about offering “culture” or “family background” as the main reason for the underperformance of Latino and African American students.

Let me answer that question for you. White students are being dragged down by classrooms filled with under performing illegal alien children and anchor babies.

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Seattle school officials are telling teachers that Thanksgiving actually is a time of “mourning” since it represents “500 years of betrayal.”

The message to all “staff” in the Seattle Public Schools comes from Caprice D. Hollins, the director of “Equity, Race & Learning Support,” and other officials including Willard Bill Jr. of the “Office of Native American Education.”

“With so many holidays approaching we want to again remind you that Thanksgiving can be a particularly difficult time for many of our Native students,” the letter said.

The school letter refers educators to a website, Oyate, run by an outside organization that promotes Indian culture, and recommends teachers explore it.

“Here you will discover ways to help you and your students think critically, and find resources where you can learn about Thanksgiving from a Native American perspective,” the letter said. “Eleven myths are identified about Thanksgiving, take a look at No. 11 and begin your own deconstruction.”

The website’s “Myth No. 11″ is that “Thanksgiving is a happy time.”

“Fact: For many Indian people, ‘Thanksgiving’ is a time of mourning, of remembering how a gift of generosity was rewarded by theft of land and seed corn, extermination of many from disease and gun, and near total destruction of many more from forced assimilation. As currently celebrated in this country, ‘Thanksgiving’ is a bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal returned for friendship,” the website describes.

The website posting called “Deconstructing the Myths of ‘The First Thanksgiving,” goes further. The writing by Judy Dow and Beverly Slapin also speculates on the psychology of Thanksgiving.

“What is it about the story of ‘The First Thanksgiving’ that makes it essential to be taught in virtually every grade from preschool through high school? What is it about the story that is so seductive? Why has it become an annual elementary school tradition to hold Thanksgiving pageants, with young children dressing up in paper-bag costumes and feather-duster headdresses and marching around the schoolyard? Why is it seen as necessary for fake ‘pilgrims’ and fake ‘Indians’ (portrayed by real children, many of whom are Indian) to sit down every year to a fake feast, acting out fake scenarios and reciting fake dialogue about friendship? And why do teachers all over the country continue (for the most part, unknowingly) to perpetuate this myth year after year after year?” the two write.

“Is it because as Americans we have a deep need to believe that the soil we live on and the country on which it is based was founded on integrity and cooperation? This belief would help contradict any feelings of guilt that could haunt us when we look at our role in more recent history in dealing with other indigenous peoples in other countries. If we dare to give up the ‘myth’ we may have to take responsibility for our actions both concerning indigenous peoples of this land as well as those brought to this land in violation of everything that makes us human,” the two said.

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Diverse Education

The teaching contract of a 25-year University of New Mexico instructor, who supports the secession of Southwest states to form an independent Chicano nation, is not being renewed despite protests from students who fear the university is stifling academic freedom.

Dr. Charles Truxillo, a longtime Chicano nationalist, contends his firing was due to his radical beliefs.

?I know that it is my beliefs because they cannot come up with any other reason. The administration said that they were looking for full-time tenure-track faculty. I qualify ? Why isn?t a position being offered to me?? asks Truxillo, a founding member of the university?s Chicano Studies department.

Truxillo, considered an American traitor to some, supports the succession of American states bordering Mexico for a separate Chicano nation. He argues that the Articles of Confederation give individual states full sovereignty and thus the states bordering Mexico have a legal right to secede.

?Universities, now, are afraid of the government,? says Truxillo, who has been an adjunct faculty member in the Chicano studies department for 10 years. Before that, he worked for 15 years in the history department.

Truxillo, who doesn?t have tenure, appealed to Provost Viola Florez. She upheld the decision, noting that the heads of the department and college decided not to renew his contract because they want to stabilize and build the program by hiring tenure-track faculty.

Truxillo concedes that his ideas are too radical for tenure. ?Tenure is based on a vote from my colleagues. Few are in favor of a Chicano professor advocating a Chicano nation state,? Truxillo says.

Read more

Republica del Norte

UNM - The Albuquerque Tribune in its issue of January 31, 2000, reported at length on one man’s plan for a Republica del Norte. The new republic, according to its herald, Dr. Charles Truxillo, an adjunct professor of Chicano Studies at the University of New Mexico, should be brought into existence ”by any means necessary.”(1) Despite this impatient tone, Truxillo admits that the new Republica del Norte will probably not come into being until toward the end of the century. When it does take its place among the nations of the world, it will be a sovereign Chicano nation straddling the present U.S.-Mexican border. North of the border, it will comprise the present states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and part of Colorado. South of the border, it will include the present Mexican states of Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas.

Read more.

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Discord roils L.A. Unified parent panel
Acrimony with racial overtones has plagued the advisory council. The key issue: whether meetings in Spanish should be allowed.
LA Times
November 10, 2007

For months, parents on a Los Angeles Unified School District advisory council have disagreed over whether their meetings should be conducted in Spanish or English. Such arguments became so abusive that district officials canceled meetings for two months and brought in dispute-resolution specialists and mental-health counselors.

But Friday morning’s gathering of the District Advisory Council proved dysfunctional in any language.

By one vote, parents censured their own chairman for alleged bad behavior, leading to a walkout of most Spanish-speakers. The rebuked chairman, Roberto Fonseca, followed them out of the room. Most voting for the censure were African American, adding racial overtones to the back-and-forth hectoring.

Friday’s dispute, at the district’s downtown Parent Community Services Branch, was the latest in a year of acrimony at the council, which was elected by parents at schools throughout the district. They offer advice on — and oversight of — the expenditure of $385 million on federally funded programs for students from poor families.

The goings-on raise another round of questions about parent participation in the nation’s second-largest school system, which has been repeatedly criticized by auditors for inconsistent and ineffective parent involvement and outreach. Critics say the district rarely seeks true parental input and instead uses parents to rubber-stamp budgets and programs. District officials insist they are determined to change this perception and are making progress.

Friday’s chaos had been building since February, when Fonseca, who is bilingual, started to give his chairman’s report in Spanish. Some in the audience objected; arguments and recriminations ensued, and school police rushed over amid concerns that a fistfight would break out, witnesses said.

Police have been present ever since, and on Friday, they escorted several parents outside for what one administrator termed a “timeout.”

After the February dispute over language, the district canceled March and April meetings, using the time to develop a Code of Civility, which reads almost like the rules in some classrooms: “Treat one another with respect, without ridicule or criticism. . . . Listen attentively while others are speaking. . . . Under no circumstances, threaten or engage in any verbal or physical attack on another individual.”

There was some resistance to this code, because parents had not approved it themselves, district staff said.

When meetings resumed, parents set up a bylaws subcommittee to take on language and other matters. The current bylaws stipulate that parent meetings across the district must be held in English. A school-district lawyer, however, concluded that this rule is illegal and impractical. Many parents serving on local school councils don’t speak English. Some meetings consist entirely of Spanish-speakers in a district where more than 266,000 students (and probably many more parents) are English-learners out of a student population of about 694,000.

The bylaws committee never completed its full review but had tentatively decided to leave the English rule in place. District staff, in turn, notified schools and offices that the English rule would not be enforced.

When participants on the advisory council aren’t at odds, meetings can be a model of bilingualism. When someone speaks in Spanish, English speakers put translation headsets to their ears and vice versa. And many Latino participants do speak English. The council united to oppose a recent cut in district translation services, a position that Fonseca politely announced to the Board of Education……

To read entire article click here.

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Nearly 150 involved in fight that students blame on feud between rival gangs.

A fight outside Lakewood High School yesterday morning escalated into a full-scale riot inside the building, where nearly 150 students attacked each other, innocent bystanders and even police.

The first officers to respond to the scene were set upon by combatants and needed to call in backup from several surrounding towns. Students said the fight was precipitated by rival black and Hispanic gangs, who had been sparring in recent days.

At its height, the melee featured random attacks on bystanders, students throwing chairs and tables and some officers pinned to the ground.

Police in full riot gear and using pepper spray and dogs finally got things under control after about 20 minutes. Worried parents summoned to the school by cell phone calls from their children found it in a state of siege, and some were arrested when they refused to obey orders from police.

“It was a riot,” Fred Anderson, 16, said after his mother took him out of school early. “It was everybody for yourself.”

By the time the fracas was over, about a dozen students and adults were arrested, including two “intruders” who instigated the brawl around 10:45 a.m. in a parking lot outside the lunchroom, police and school officials said.

The most serious injury was a student who needed stitches for facial injuries, officials said. Some police officers also were hurt, but none seriously, Deputy Police Chief Charles Smith said.

The school was placed in lockdown for about an hour as fighting raged and police conducted mop-up operations. The school remained open, although many parents pulled their children out early. Officials said school would open this morning and warned students to carry their ID cards.

Police were still sorting out what prompted the initial fight, but they and others said it was related to at least one after-school fight last week that contributed to an incident at a party over the weekend.

Ten Lakewood police officers who responded to the initial call of a fight at the Ocean County school were almost immediately overwhelmed by the number of fighting students and called for backup after they were attacked, said Smith.

Read more.

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FOX news

The Los Angeles Unified School District, which serves about 700,000 students, is embroiled in a nasty debate about whether meetings of a district advisory board should be conducted in English or Spanish.

I don’t have a child in the school district, but let me say this as clearly as I can for the activists wanting to conduct meetings in anything but English: Yo quiero Ingles, por favor.

For the rest of you: I want English, please.

One parent said it was racist to demand people who come to America speak English. I think not.

What’s really odd about this debate out in L.A. for many of us is that it is not the usual clash between Anglo-nativists and newly arrived Hispanic invaders. Instead this is a battle which pits African-Americans against newly arrived Hispanic invaders. The African-Americans think they are getting ripped off if a key advisory council to the school district is conducting business â?? dividing up federal money in many cases â?? in a language they cannot understand.

Some African-American parents have kids in these schools who are underachieving and want to see federal money spent equitably on their children as well as Hispanic children, and they are the ones who are feeling abused if the debates over millions in federal money are conducted in the language of the newcomers.

Nothing against the immigrant parents who want their children properly served by the L.A. school district, but the African-American parents have a point most Americans support: This is an English-speaking country when it comes to official business, and English speakers should not be excluded from participation in school district business because they have not picked up Spanish fast enough.

Their position seems to be: Welcome to America. We speak English. We have classes for everybody to learn English, but that’s as far as we’ll go.

Seems fair to me.

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In the face of a tug at your heart strings lead in story concerning the Dream Act, Dan still is able to make a lot of sense. GuardDog

FAIR President Dan Stein on CNN’s
Out In The Open With Rick Sanchez

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Evicted for not paying the rent.

AZ Star net

Students at César Chávez Middle School and Aztlán Academy, located in the former Southgate Shopping Center near South Sixth Avenue and Interstate 10, arrived at the school to find the doors had been chained shut.

There was no note and no warning, students and school officials said.

â??There were chains on the door and we had to tear them down,â? said Yesenia Perez, 17, a student at Aztlán Academy.

So, after a gbrief meeting between staff and students, they took to the streets â?? er, sidewalk.

The protest lasted from about 2:30 to 4 p.m., when school ended.

The alternative charter schools, which operate as part of César Chávez Learning Community Inc. began in 1999 and presently have about 165 students, aged 11-18 years.

â??This is the third place weâ??ve been, so we already feel like gypsy kids trying to find a home,â? said Sister Judy Bisignano, a Catholic nun who serves as director of the two secular schools.

Both César Chávez and Aztlán Academy have struggled over the years with performance ratings. In 2005 they were even in jeopardy of having their charters and state funding revoked.

The Arizona State Board for Charter Schools granted them a reprieve and placed the schools under probation. In October, a state report identified César Chávez Middle School among six charter schools labeled as underperforming.

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AZ Starnet

A Catalina High Magnet School student and his family were deported after school officials found marijuana in his backpack and called Tucson police, who notified the Border Patrol after learning the family was here illegally.

The incident caused concern among immigrant rights advocates, but Tucson police officials say the officer acted appropriately in calling Border Patrol agents to the school.

On Thursday, police responded to Catalina High after school officials found a small amount of marijuana in the backpack of a ninth-grader who appeared to be under the influence, said Chyrl Hill Lander, Tucson Unified School District spokeswoman.

Police asked the boy’s parents to come to the school, at East Pima Street and North Dodge Boulevard.
When the officer asked to see the drivers’ licenses of the boy’s parents, they said they had been living illegally in the United States for six years and that their 17-year-old son and his brother, a 12-year-old sixth-grader at Doolen Middle School, were also here illegally, said Roberto Villaseñor, assistant Tucson police chief.

The officer called the Border Patrol, which sent agents to the school, said Richard DeWitt, Tucson Sector spokesman. They took the boy and his parents into custody and escorted the family from the school, Lander said.

From there, they went to Doolen Middle School, where the couple’s other son was waiting in the principal’s office when the officer and agents arrived, she said.

The mother and two boys were processed and dropped off at the border by the Border Patrol to return to Mexico in a procedure called voluntary return. The father was held for a formal removal â?? formerly known as a deportation â?? because he had been apprehended various times by the agency, DeWitt said. Their names were not released.

Immigrants’ rights groups say allowing immigration officials into schools could create distrust and fear among invaders. TUSD officials said police should have waited to call immigration agents.

Read more.

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Teacher Kelsey Peterson, shown in 2006,
is charged with kidnapping and child abuse.

* Story Highlights
* 13-year-old, teacher taken into custody on Friday in Mexico
* Teacher charged with kidnapping, child abuse, among other charges
* Boy turned over to relatives in Mexicali due to illegal immigrant status in U.S.

13-year-old in alleged teacher-student liaison is illegal immigrant
November 4, 2007

LEXINGTON, Nebraska (AP) — A 13-year-old student with whom a middle school teacher is accused of fleeing to create a romantic life in the boy’s native Mexico may be required to stay there.

An illegal immigrant while residing in the United States, 13-year-old Fernando Rodriguez may not be able to return to the rural Nebraska town where he was an eighth-grader.

Kelsey Peterson, 25, and Rodriguez were taken into custody without incident after the boy’s relatives told police he had called home asking for money, leading investigators to a shopping mall in the border city of Mexicali on Friday.

Peterson, a sixth-grade math teacher and basketball coach at Lexington Middle School, fled with the boy after police began investigating whether the pair had an intimate relationship, authorities said. Court documents said the boy was last seen October 26.

An international hunt was under way after Peterson’s car was spotted crossing into Mexico on Tuesday.

“They didn’t have a very well-defined plan, it was basically to continue driving into Mexico to hide,” said Alfredo Arenas, the Baja California state police official who detained Peterson. “This was a mutual agreement to flee after the story came out that they were having sex.”

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who may be victims of sex crimes, but the boy’s name had been widely publicized as police searched for him.

Peterson was turned over to the FBI early Saturday. The boy was turned over to relatives in Mexicali because he was an illegal immigrant in the United States and was not allowed to return, Arenas said.

Fernando’s uncle, Pedro Raya, said he spoke to the boy Saturday and they agreed he would go to the family’s rural hometown in the southern state of Guanajuato, mainly because of his immigration status.

“He’s OK,” said Raya, 47, of Yuma, Arizona. “I just told him to stay over there in Mexico and the FBI is going to take care of everything.”

Dawson County Attorney Elizabeth Waterman said she knew about Fernando’s immigration status but did not know how it was going to affect her case against Peterson.

“That’s one of the things we need to evaluate so I really don’t have an answer at this time,” Waterman said. “I don’t know if that information is completely accurate or if that’s subject to change, but we’re dealing with that.”

Peterson is charged with kidnapping, child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in Nebraska. She also faces federal charges of transporting a minor across state lines or a foreign border for sexual activity, U.S. Attorney Joe Stecher said.

Stecher said he did not intend to double-prosecute Peterson, and would work with Waterman to decide in which jurisdiction she would face charges.

Court documents showed authorities had recovered several e-mails and letters in which Peterson and the boy professed their affection for one another.

In letters, the boy called Peterson his “Baby Gurl” and said their relationship was “just not about the sex but that it was pretty good,” according to the court documents.

Fernando was an eighth-grader at Lexington Middle School, but district Superintendent Todd Chessmore said Rodriguez had been in Peterson’s sixth-grade math class. He said he placed Peterson on paid administrative leave on October 25.

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