Voces Unidas calls for accountability from Glenwood Springs High School administrators, others
Voces Unidas President and CEO Alex Sánchez released the following statement in response to recent events in the Roaring Fork Valley that have been insensitive, at best, to the region’s Latino and Latina residents.
In the first instance, Sánchez is calling for accountability from Glenwood Springs High School principal and YouthEntity leadership for inviting the U.S. Border Patrol to campus and promoting that visit on social media:
“It is simply unacceptable for a principal in the Roaring Fork School District to embrace a visit from U.S. Border Patrol to campus. It represents a grave violation of the community’s trust and it is traumatic to many students and their families.
It was not long ago that we were inundated by images of children in cages sleeping under space blankets. Many of the district’s families, including my own, have been deported and have faced traumatic experiences at the hands of the U.S. Border Patrol.
Schools should be safe for all students, regardless of immigration status. This was enshrined by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1982 Plyler vs. Doe decision. Furthermore, the Roaring Fork School District in 2012 made public commitments to the community after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Civil Liberties opened an investigation into Carbondale-based school resource officers for acting as immigration agents at Roaring Fork High School.
Inviting the U.S. Border Patrol not only violates the safety of immigrant students, it has the potential to invoke trauma experienced by students and their families at the hands of immigration agents.
We call on the School Board and Superintendent Jesús Rodríguez to hold the Glenwood Springs High School principal accountable and ensure that every other school leader understands the district policy and community commitments about dealing with federal immigration agencies.”
In a second instance, Sánchez is calling out the words and actions of individuals in the community who are working against Superintendent Jesús Rodríguez:
“We are appalled by the behavior of a few Basalt residents, specifically Aspen Skiing Company executive Auden Schendler, who have publicly attacked Superintendent Jesus Rodriguez for pushing equity and addressing long-standing, systemic issues in the district.
As an organization that has many leaders who are also Aspen Skiing Company employees, we have been monitoring his behavior and that of others. We don’t see anything on record when Schendler has expressed his outrage for how Latino students and families have been treated over the years or the unacceptable achievement gap that has grown wider under the tenure of the last three superintendents.
We call on the entire community to focus on children and what children need and to join us in holding Glenwood Springs High School accountable for grave incidents like the one that occurred yesterday.“