Boston’s Silence is Deafening – Protect Our Children

Massachusetts Parents United Member, East Boston (Name Withheld)

I have been watching as my Facebook timeline filled with pictures of the Boston #FamiliesBelongTogether rally at City Hall. My family — and so many of my friends in East Boston could not attend this rally because we are undocumented, and we cannot risk being in a public space and disclosing our status given the current climate.

It was nice to see and we appreciate the effort, but unfortunately it does little to change anything because a mile away in the neighborhoods where we live, the threat of ICE seems to be around every corner and even in the schools we are trusting with our children. We have serious problems in the city of Boston that must be addressed.

Last week we learned that Boston Public Schools has allegedly been sharing information with federal officials and the Trump administration by cooperating with the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, funneling information to the FBI, ICE and the Trump administration.

Since then, there has been alot of conversation about whether Superintendent Tommy Chang was fired as the result of this situation. It’s been talked about endlessly in the press.

But what isn’t being discussed is the city of Boston’s silence on whether they have shared information with ICE and the Trump administration or anything from Mayor Marty Walsh about stopping this kind of information sharing moving forward.

We don’t understand why Tommy Chang seems to be the most important part of the story when the lives of our children are at stake. Make no mistake, we appreciated Mr. Chang and the effort he made to come to our MPU meetings in East Boston since December. We believe he heard us and understood our concerns, but could do little to stop what was happening.

(Tommy Chang with MPU Senior Advisor Andy Stern last year.)

We have also heard nothing from the Boston Teachers Union about educating and encouraging their members about what the escalating of minor incidents in the classroom can lead to in the life of a child under the reign of Trump.

Massachusetts Parents United members in East Boston and across the Commonwealth (frankly, parents across the nation) are reporting a major uptick in racism occurring directly in the classroom.

We are concerned about teachers and administrators within the Boston Public Schools who do not share the values expressed by BTU leadership and have openly expressed their support for Donald Trump and have threatened to call ICE in the past, especially in East Boston.

We have said it before and we will say it again. Our families are being terrorized by ICE and the Trump administration. We don’t know who we can trust anymore.

We saw a small group of union leaders marching in Boston this weekend, but we would strongly encourage the Boston Teachers Union, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Educators Association and others to start getting their own house in order before working on overall societal change. Is what you are saying into microphones reflecting what your membership is saying in the classroom and the hallways of our schools?

We suggest hopping on the blue line and making your way over to East Boston High School as a start — because from what we see, there is work that must be done.

Boston, often you turn to us to support you in your priorities, now as parents, this is what we really what we really NEED you to do.

What do you think?

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