The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Rube Render
Local columnist 

Opinion: Afghani students are hardly stranded

 

Last updated 9/18/2021 at 4:18pm



I was reading news on the internet, when the following caught my eye:

Dozens of students from the San Juan Unified School District in Sacramento County, Calif., are believed to still be in Afghanistan. Raj Rai, director of communication for the district, said in a statement that 27 students, from 19 families, are in Afghanistan.

The students, along with family members, were reportedly in Afghanistan visiting families over their summer break. SJUSD Deputy Superintendent Melissa Bassanelli noted it’s normal for these students to go visit their home country every summer.

My first reaction was, “Who in their right mind would send a group of exchange students into a war zone that is getting more and more unstable?”

My continued reading caused me to ponder, “Who in their right mind would not send word from Afghanistan, to the students in Sacramento, that the situation was getting more unstable, and maybe it would be best to stay in California this year?”

“This is really a complicated situation,” Bassanelli said.

The district has about 1,400 students of Afghan origin, Bassanelli said.

At no time does the district indicate the official status of these students. They are referred to as, “students of Afghan origin.”

Students of Afghan origin who are naturalized citizens are “Americans,” and if this is the case, news articles should so state. Students of “Afghan” origin, returning to their “home country,” Afghanistan, of their own accord, can hardly be understood to be stranded.

As a thought experiment, one could imagine a Kabul newspaper carrying the story about the new Afghan government working diligently to reunite Afghan students in Afghanistan, with their families currently left behind in Sacramento; and to further promise to leave no stone unturned in their effort to claw Afghan citizens out of the clutches of the Great Satan in California, to reunify parents of Afghan origin with their children in Afghanistan.

By the way, does SJUSD track “students of Mexican origin” the same way?

Rube Render is a former Clovis city commissioner and former chair of the Curry County Republican Party. Contact him:

[email protected]

 
 

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