There’s only a handful of places where undocumented immigrants can feel safe: home, church, school, and technically speaking court. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is not allowed to detain, intimidate, or question undocumented immigrants at any of these places. That is why these places are known as safe sanctuary spaces. However, ICE is known to wait for these people outside of their church, school, home, and court. ICE is not allowed in, but because the people are not allowed out, leaving safe spaces often leaves them at risk for detainment. A teacher in Texas recently made a safe place completely dangerous for undocumented students. Georgia Clark, a teacher at Carter-Riverside High School in Fort Worth, Texas, tweeted to President Donald Trump that her school was “loaded with illegal students from Mexico.”
On May 17, in now-deleted tweets, Clark — an English and language arts teacher (which means she probably teaches ESL) — tweeted to Trump, “Mr. President, Fort Worth Independent School District is loaded with illegal immigrants from Mexico. Carter-Riverside High School has been taken over by them. Drug dealers are on our campus, and nothing was done to them when the drug dogs found the evidence.”
Outrage over the tweets quickly spread and Clark was eventually suspended, but what good will that do? According to Yahoo, a spokesperson for the school said, “In the past 24 hours, there has been much talk in the news and on the Internet about the use of social media by our staff. Our mission is to prepare ALL students for success in college, career, and community leadership. Let me reiterate our commitment that every child in the District is welcome and is to be treated with dignity and respect. As we conclude the school year this Friday, please know we take this promise very seriously and your child’s safety and well-being are always our number-one priority. Thank you.”
If they were committed to the safety and well-being of their students, they would have fired Clark. Sending out tweets exposing the documentation status of the school’s Latinx student places them in an extremely dangerous position. It’s also harmful to their mental health. If I had a teacher that I knew was racist against me outright, and I was forced to be in their classroom day in and day out, I would be stricken with anxiety and stress. No child should be forced to deal with that.
Suspending the teacher won’t do a thing. Clark will not change her prejudice ways. She has tweeted to the president several times before advocating for the wall and saying she’s been praying for him to “drain the swamp.” While people are entitled to their opinion, the potential harm this educator put these children in is unacceptable.