HOUSTON — Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo is not afraid to speak his mind, and his tweets are certainly turning heads this week.
Acevedo released this message on Twitter Tuesday:
"It appears that school enrollment this year is lower for Latino children. Our schools are safe areas for everyone, including immigrants. Please do not steal your children's future, send them to school. Education is power."
parece que la inscripción escolar este año esta muy baja para los niños latinos. Nuestras escuelas son zonas seguras para todos incluyendo los inmigrantes. Por favor no robe el futuro de sus niños mándelos a la escuela. La educación es el poder.
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) August 28, 2018
“Education is something that can’t be taken away. People can take away a lot of things from you but they can’t take away your knowledge,” Acevedo told NewsFix.
FIEL Houston works closely with undocumented immigrants in Houston. And they tell parents, a public school may actually be the safest place for an undocumented student.
“Immigration may not go into public schools, there`s constitutional laws that protect children while they`re at school, that protect information from being shared and we try to send that information out to our community all the time,” Espinoza says.
“For the undocumented family members out there and parents, realize that ICE has actually met here with the superintendent. They made it real clear that from a policy perspective they consider schools a sanctuary… and the courts have said that those children have to be educated,” Acevedo explained.
NewsFix has sent a Freedom of Information Act Request to HISD in efforts to confirm how deep the drop has been.
In a statement HISD says in part:
"Our goal is to educate every child who walks through our doors - regardless of their immigration status. In particular, it is not our practice or policy to initiate contact with law enforcement regarding any student`s immigration status."
And another explanation all together may be what's keeping students out of Houston classrooms.
“One of the factors we attribute to this is the fact that a lot of people in the Houston area or in Texas said that they might be moving into another state due to laws like SB4,” Espinoza said.
Losing any piece of the Houston puzzle that makes this city great is a tragedy, but when considering the controversial times we're in, not completely beyond understanding.