Eugene School District will not replace "Immigrants Welcome" signs

Signs that read "Immigrants Welcome" were torn down from River Road/El Camino del Rio Elementary School over winter break, and they will not be replaced.

Posted: Jan 20, 2018 6:35 PM

EUGENE, Ore. - Over winter break a contracted worker tore down signs that read "Immigrants Welcome" at the River Road/El Camino del Rio Elementary School.

The Eugene School District 4J said this is an act of vandalism, and it's being treated as such. They said the contracted worker in question no longer works for them.

However, the district said the signs will not be going back up because they're too political.

Kerry Delf, a spokesperson with the district, wanted to make it very clear that they support the message of welcoming immigrants and had no problem with those signs saying that.

"Children all have an equal right to access public education, no matter what their immigration status, that's true across the United States. And in the Eugene School District 4j, we really, truly welcome immigrants and all families in our schools," Delf said.

She said it was text written underneath the "Immigrants Welcome" message, that talked about the proposed wall and border, that made the posters too political.

Some parents have expressed that they're upset by this decision. One mother of twins that attend the elementary school, Kristidel McGregor, said that public school is a political entity in itself, and no matter what they'll be making a political decision.

"I definitely want the district to think about that, and to realize that by not saying something that's also a political act. When we decide to be silent about something that's also a political act," said McGregor.

McGregor also mentioned that several teachers she'd spoken to about the incident felt personally attacked by it. She said that especially in a minority dominant school like this one, those messages are important. 

Delf, the district spokesperson, said there will be a new form of welcome on the walls of the elementary school in the form of student artwork. Many students were sad to see the posters gone and made some of their own posters welcoming immigrants. 

Delf said this is a great representation of the students and teachers at this school as well as the attitude they represent.

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