LOS ANGELES – Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District can now call 1-866-742-2273 if they’re emotionally overwhelmed about life in American under President Donald Trump.
The new hotline will be answered on weekdays, and district officials also opened new “support centers” across the school district “to provide … emotional support” for students upset Trump was elected president, according to a recorded message sent to parents.
The Los Angeles Times reports the recording from district superintendent Michelle King went out Monday, and a similar message was broadcast to students over school public address systems.
“No other time in history have we had to have school counselors on duty more because of the person who is supposed to be president,” Jenny Jerome, a Pacific Palisades mother of three, told the news site. “I’ve seen kids acting really scared and crying.”
The added emotional supports for L.A. students – 74 percent are Latino – build on measures the district has already taken to shield illegal immigrant students from federal immigration agents, and follow massive student walkouts to protest the president-elect, the LAist reports.
“A week after the election, the district’s board voted to reaffirm their campuses as safe zones for undocumented students with a resolution that bars federal immigration agents from entering a campus without the approval of the superintendent or the district’s lawyers,” according to the news site.
“That resolution was a reiteration of a similar one established in February, although LAUSD Board President Steve Zimmer told LAist at the time that the district’s November 15 resolution clarifies language to further protect papers and documents that pertain to the students.”
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In the recorded message to parents, sent in both English and Spanish, King said “although it has been nearly a month since the presidential election, many of our students still have questions and concerns about potential impact on them and their families.
“We have opened Extended Support Sites at each of our Local District offices, as well as at the field office of Board President Steve Zimmer,” King continued. “These sites are open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, to provide you with emotional support, enrollment and attendance information and referrals to outside resources. We have also set up a hotline at (866) 742-2273, where you can call with questions or concerns.”
The Washington Post highlighted LAUSD’s Trump hotline, and pointed out that state officials have also “gone out of their way to attempt to reassure students that they are safe.”
“ … California’s state superintendent of education, Tom Torlakson, issued a statement last month telling all 6.2 million public school students that they are safe from discrimination at school – and he made a point of telling ‘young women and girls that they will always be safe, be respected and be protected at school.”
LAUSD officials certainly aren’t the first to launch a Trump-inspired hotline for those troubled by his historic upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched a statewide emergency hotline a week after the election and encouraged residents who had experienced discrimination, harassment or hate crimes in the wake of the election to call in, the New York Observer reports.