A group of students at Nicholas Senn High School in Chicago held a sit-in this week to protest a racist comment made by a gym teacher. According to students, a group of students stayed seated during the national anthem and a gym teacher told a Latina student to “go back to your country” in response.
Nicholas Senn High School students in Chicago held a sit-in to protest a teacher’s offensive comment.
According to NBC News, 17-year-old Yésica Salazar said she was at a Hispanic Heritage Month assembly when the Pledge of Allegiance was performed. She and other students remained seated as a form of protest against the anti-immigration rhetoric and policies in the country.
The incident allegedly occurred as the students were leaving the assembly for not standing. When they left, a teacher stopped the student and told her that she should “go back to your country.”
A video on Twitter shows the principal addressing the protesting students.
“I notified everybody within three hours of receiving the report. It is all in writing,” Principal Mary Beck told the students. “It is all time-stamped. I did my job. I continue to follow through based on the guidelines and policies that we have in place. Every time.”
Despite the answer, the students chanted back at her saying, “So, why is he still here?”
The school is predominately Latino and Black.
Senn High School is predominantly Latino and black. According to data, Nicholas Senn High School is 25.8 percent Black, 42.3 percent Latino, 11.2 percent white, and 17.5 percent Asian.
The “go back to your country” comment has grown in popularity since President Trump took office. There have been examples of comment shared all over social media and is directed to Black, brown, and Asian people. There have even been instances when people have used this phrase against Native American people. To be clear, it has nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with racism.
People on social media are celebrating the students for holding people in power at their school accountable.
The sweeping Coronavirus stimulus packaged signed into law by President Trump promises a huge infusion of cash into a struggling economy. However, the bill explicitly denies much-needed benefits to some of the most vulnerable communities in the county – including most undocumented residents.
Several progressive politicians have called out the original bill for this major omission but so far have failed to get a bill passed that would bring benefits to communities currently not eligible.
Meanwhile, city and state officials have been working to make sure their programs are eligible to all residents – regardless of legal status.
Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot is leading the way by making sure all residents in her city who need help – can get it.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday issued an executive order granting undocumented immigrants and refugees, who are sometimes forgotten, a variety of city benefits, including money from the city’s Small Business Resiliency Loan Program.
”This order is more than just an official decree, it is a statement of our values as a city and as Americans,” she said in a statement on Tuesday. “Since COVID-19 first reached our city’s doorstep, we have been working around the clock to ensure all our residents are secure and supported, including our immigrant and refugee communities, who are among the most vulnerable to the impact of this pandemic.”
“Here in Chicago, saying ‘we are all in this together’ means that during this crisis, no one gets left out and no one gets left behind,” she added.
The city of Chicago has launched several programs in order to help residents cope with the financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the executive order, Lightfoot’s office said all residents in the city, regardless of their birthplace or citizenship status, will have access to the city’s newly-established COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant program and online resources offered through Chicago public schools for students, among other benefits.
Michael Rodriguez, who serves as alderman of the 22nd Ward in Chicago, praised Lightfoot for the move in a statement, while pointing to coronavirus relief legislation recently passed by Congress that will give relief checks to most Americans but not nonresident aliens and people who don’t have Social Security numbers.
“Not all of Chicago’s residents qualify for federal stimulus checks, state unemployment insurance or other economic assistance due to their documentation status,” Rodriguez said. “These Chicagoans are vital community members who work in various industries and help our great city to thrive every day.”
The Mayor has overwhelming support for her plan from much of the city.
Many City Council members have bemoaned that the federal government didn’t do enough to help undocumented immigrants with legislation. But the city can also do more, said 35th Ward Alderman, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa. That includes creating an immigrant resiliency fund, which he has asked the mayor to do, according to the ChicagoSun-Times.
George Cardenas, alderman for Chicago’s 12th Ward, also commended the mayor for the executive order in a statement.
“Most individuals in our immigrant community labor in industries pummeled by the COVID-19 crisis, such as restaurants and hotels,” he said. “Although many of these workers collectively pay billions of dollars in taxes, they are excluded from the federal aid package signed by Congress. We must meet this moment together; no one should be excluded.”
The mayor’s plan tries to fill the gap left behind by Congress’ federal stimulus bill.
Congress passed a $2.2 trillion relief bill in late March that provides major financial assistance to Americans struggling under the coronavirus pandemic. The stimulus package includes a $1,200 payout to eligible U.S. citizens, and allocates $350 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses.
However, progressive politicians have criticized the bailout package for excluding some of the most vulnerable communities among us. House Democrats introduced the Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act, a bill that calls for extending much-needed benefits to tax-paying undocumented residents.
The Chicago mayor is not alone in setting aside benefits for the undocumented community.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that his administration has established a state fund to provide relief to businesses run by individuals living in the U.S. without proper documentation.
Lightfoot, for her part, has long been a virulent critic of immigration enforcement, and has established sanctuary policies that forbid local police cooperation with ICE.
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The COVID-19 health crisis is shutting down governments around the world. The global infection rate crossed 1 million on April 2 and continues to climb. In the U.S., nurses and doctors are facing severe equipment shortages leaving many of the front-line workers vulnerable to contracting the virus, which has already killed more than 5,780 Americans. One nurse shared a heartbreaking video of her explaining why she had to quit her job as the crisis continues to unfold.
Imaris is a nurse in Chicago, one of the cities expected to see a high number of COVID-19 cases.
Illinois has seen an increase in cases recently. The latest numbers from Illinois show that 7,695 have tested positive for COVID-19. There have also been 157 deaths in the state.
According to her Instagram, Imaris is no stranger to the ICU and emergency situations.
As the war rages against COVID-19, hospitals and health care workers are calling for more equipment to help them fight. There is a shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) including face masks, face shields, gowns, and gloves. PPEs keep the doctors and nurses safe when they are interacting with and treating sick patients.
The Chicago-based nurse took to Instagram to share her story about fighting COVID-19 and why she had to quit.
Imaris broke down what so many health care workers are currently facing. There is a shortage of the things they need to keep themselves safe. The nurse was most concerned about the lack of masks being given to nurses, 91 percent of whom are women. The lack of basic safety equipment bothered the nurse because she believes it does nothing to protect the nurses. In response, the nurse quit and warned viewers that “America is NOT prepared & Nurses are NOT safe.”
People are showing support for the nurse.
If you know someone working in health care, you understand the concern for their safety. The Chicago nurse says int he video that she is scared of going home to her family without having used the protecting gear all day.
Thank a health care worker today. They could use positive energy.