FBISD student activists organize

July 24, 2018

A group of high school student activists recently gathered at the Sugar Land public library to write colorful letters of support to children of undocumented immigrants currently detained at federal facilities in Brownsville. The event was organized by Student Amend, a group of Fort Bend ISD students who first came together during a district-wide campus walk-off last April held after 17 students and school staff were killed when a gunman opened fire at a high school in Parkland, Florida in February.

“We all connected really well because we were scared because of the school shootings going on across the county,” Ridge Point High School student Betsy George said. “Things went well so we decided to keep the ball rolling.”

Since then, the students have organized two town hall meetings to voice their concerns to elected officials.

More than 25 student activists attended the card-writing event, which George described as “the right thing to do”.

“It’s all over the news and it’s such an inhuman thing that is going on, especially at the border,” she said.

During May and June, thousnads of children and teenagers were separated from their parents as a result “zero-tolerance” immigration policies put in place by President Donald Trump. The policies have since been amended and federal officials have begun reuniting families.

Students who participated in the card-writing event say they weren’t interested in taking sides politically but simply hoped to offer support to children still being held in detention facilities.

“It’s not about politics, it’s about human rights,” Sameeha Rizne said. “At the end of the day, these children didn’t choose this path; someone else made the choice for them.”

Ada Marshall, a 16-year-old Ridge Point student, said media reports about the children inspired her to reach out.

“These children deserve to know someone is here for them and someone cares. So much of this has been politicized. But it’s not about left or right, it’s about ethics. For too long, adults are talking too much and clashing when it is about human lives that are actually on the line. We want to focus on the humanity by showing our support for these children,” she said.

The card-writing rally was held Friday, July 20, at the University Branch Library in Sugar Land.

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