By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten joined to launch the “Build Schools, Not Walls” campaign here April 17.
The campaign aims to encourage the building of schools and not the wall President Donald Trump plans to construct on the U.S.-Mexico border. Also, it calls for the billions of dollars set for the wall to be invested in schools for the future of education.
“We need to make strong investments in our public schools, places where all students are welcomed and loved,” Dingell said. “This campaign is about investing in early childhood education, teacher training and after-school programs.
“The Trump budget slashes funding and sends our nation backward. This campaign is about fighting tooth-and-nail to block any policy that will hurt our students or their families.”
The launch was held at Edsel Ford High School, 20601 Rotunda Drive, because of the rich the diversity in Dearborn, Dingell said.
“Here at Edsel Ford we have a diverse student population that exemplifies diversity,” she said. “As you walk through the halls here we have students of may different races, religions and beliefs. These young people are here to learn and to grow and to blossom in the world regardless of their background.”
Members of The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools toured classrooms where the English language is taught and met with educators in charge of the school’s programs.
“The Build Schools, Not Walls campaign is our way of connecting two critical struggles and movements, at a time when division and hate flows from the White House and from statehouses and city halls across America,” AROS Executive Director Keron Blair said.
American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, 482Forward, the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services also are partners in the campaign.
“We do this work because we love children and we want to help all children succeed,” Randi Weingarten said. “We do this work because we understand that public education is the foundation of our democracy and the propeller of our economy. That is what this campaign is about.”
The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools is planning a nationwide day of action May 1 in more than 2,000 schools in 200 cities across the country as part of the two-week campaign.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)