Sartell students skip class to protest DACA

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Sartell students skip class to protest DACA

Small but passionate group of students show their support for DACA.

Small but passionate group of students show their support for DACA.

Holly Wolff

Small but passionate group of students show their support for DACA.

Holly Wolff

Holly Wolff

Small but passionate group of students show their support for DACA.

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On Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at Sartell High School, an eclectic group of impassioned students left their classes at 2 pm to protest the recent legislations concerning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Protests for DACA have increased since Jeff Sessions publicly announced that under the Trump administration the DACA program will be discontinued. What is DACA exactly? In 2012, President Obama began the DACA program which protects undocumented immigrant children, who are also referred to as Dreamers. DACA allows these immigrants to obtain a valid driver’s license, legally hold jobs, and apply for college even though they aren’t legal citizens.

The Latina friends and families I know may be displaced, and that’s really hard on families. It will also hurt the US economy; it’s a useless expense, and $400 billion will be gone from the GDP.”

— Monte Belmont

On Tuesday, President Trump declared that Congress has six months to decide the outcome of DACA before any of his changes go into effect. If Congress does not act on the proposal, many Dreamers could potentially be deported, forced to return to a country they are unfamiliar with. DACA provides these undocumented immigrants their only assurance that they will not be deported.

Holly Wolff
800,000 people deported due to this repeal

Around 8:00 AM, this morning, SHS student Aidan Speckhard, after noticing the unrest in his community and among his peers, began organizing a means to make the youths’ opinion on the recent repeal of DACA heard citywide. He then went to the SHS administration to make his intentions known and avoid inadvertently inciting rebellion. This encouraged other students to become active and participate by creating posters and spreading the word. Before the protest took place, all participants were informed of the punitive risks and possible further consequences that would follow the act of civil disobedience enforced by school officials.

The demeanor of the crowd was far from what one may expect from a youth protest. The students were calm, collected, and mature as they explained to student journalists their means and motives. Many of them even wore pleasant smiles while being interviewed, despite their clear dissatisfaction with the DACA legislation. Perhaps the most admirable aspect of this student protest is the fact that not a single one of the diverse youths were under any threat of deportation under this legislation.

Holly Wolff
Belle LeBlanc-Walz smiles while standing up for what she believes in.

I feel like it is our civic duty to stand against what’s unjust by exercising our freedom of speech to let local and national governments know we don’t support their actions. ”

— Colin Nord

Sartell school district’s superintendent, Jeff Schwiebert, shared his opinions on the pressing issue. As a former a civics teacher, he supported the students’ right to exercise the first amendment. His role as the superintendent restricted him from giving his specific opinions on DACA itself; however, he didn’t oppose the students’ act of standing up for what they believe is right.

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