Our mission is to support principals and the principalship in the education of all students. Part of supporting the education of all students is our core responsibility as educators to fearlessly shield children from traumatic events, ensure their safety and advocate for the health and well-being of all children, particularly those most vulnerable.
The statements below from the national associations were all issued before President Trump signed an executive order ending the forcible separation. Here's a good explainer from CNN on what the order actually does from CNN.
NASSP Statement: Principals Condemn Border Policy That Forcibly Separates Children From Families
NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti issued the following statement regarding the Trump administration border policy to forcibly separate children from their families:
“School leaders recognize the faces of traumatized children. We sit with them as they relive painful experiences, isolate themselves, and act out for their inability to manage effects of deeply damaging events. As schools across the country scrape together whatever resources they can to address the needs of traumatized students, it deeply saddens us to see the faces we know all too well needlessly spreading across the U.S.–Mexico border.
“NASSP strongly condemns the policy implemented by the Trump administration to forcibly separate children from their families crossing the border to seek asylum. We demand an immediate end to this misguided, cruel policy that is intentionally inflicting trauma on children for strictly political purposes.”
NAESP Urges End to Child Separation Policy
In response to the Administration’s child separation policy, NAESP Executive Director Dr. L. Earl Franks, CAE has issued the following statement:
“Protecting children and ensuring their well-being is core to NAESP’s mission and to the work that principals do as school building leaders. Every day all across the country, principals provide safe and welcoming environments for their students and work vigorously to protect children from trauma in all its forms. NAESP is deeply concerned about the crisis at the U.S. border involving the separation of families and the short- and long-term impact these actions will have on children. To that end, NAESP urges the Administration to end its policy of separating children from their parents who are crossing the border and to work with Congress to find a solution that protects the well-being of these children.”
AASA Statement On Family Separation
AASA Executive Director Daniel A. Domenech and AASA officers Gail Pletnick (Dysart Unified, AZ); Chris Gaines (Mehlville, MO) and Deb Kerr (Brown Deer Schools, WI) issued the following statement in response to the recent separation of children and parents at the border:
"Our nation’s public school superintendents and the schools they serve are legally required to educate the children that come through their doors. We are deeply concerned with recent steps that result in the separation of children and parents at the border. Immigration policy is not easy, but we are deeply troubled by the purposeful and aggressive implementation of a policy that is widely recognized as flawed, one that separates young children from their parents in a world they do not know. AASA is an organization that serves and represents education professionals. And while we won’t claim expertise in immigration policy, the nation’s public school superintendents are experts in what can and does work for students and young children, and we know that the separation policy is harmful, traumatic, and stressful, and these effects may follow these children for the rest of their lives. Policy can be tough and fair without being inhumane, and we urge the administration to immediately cease this intentionally cruel policy.”