Communities

Teacher Challenges The President To Come Meet Her Refugee Students

by Andre Grant

February 7, 2017

Rachel Haltiwanger, a middle school teacher in Nashville, Tennessee, is part of a one of a kind education program called SIFE (Students With Interrupted Formal Education). The program is specifically designed for refugee students who need to enroll on a rolling basis throughout the school year.

Because of her job with a unique student body, President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations hits very close to home. Those “radical Islamic terrorists” he’s trying to keep out include many of her students.

As she describes, these are the very same students who stand at attention for the national anthem every day alongside their American student peers.

It’s a scene she wishes President Trump could witness first hand. So she took to Facebook and Instagram to invite the president to join her at the school to hear these children’s stories and to watch how passionately they say the pledge of their new home.

"I wrote the letter to him saying I would love for you to meet these children you are keeping out,” Haltiwanger told The Tennessean adding, “To come meet my Syrian students that just got here in the last week before the ban and see what they are doing at the school to help America be great."

Simply put, the Tennessee educator just wants Trump to know how inviting and thankful the families of these children are. Haltiwanger added:

"We do parent teacher conferences as home visits so we go to the student's houses and we meet with their parents, and every single family makes us tea or coffee. They won't let us leave until we've drank three cups, and they want to know about our lives and thank us so much for serving their kids."

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Teacher Challenges The President To Come Meet Her Refugee Students