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Friday, May 9, 2008

Politics should stay out of Educating Children

Guy Djoken

A recent proposal put forth by a Frederick County Commissioner to count the children of undocumented workers in the school system was thankfully defeated.

Last weekend, Mr. Daryl Boffman, President of the Frederick County Board of Education, felt compelled to call Blaine Young during his Saturday morning talk show on WFMD broadcast from Frederick County, Maryland. His intent was to keep students out of the current campaign being instigated by a small but resolute number of people who have been trying to use immigration as a wedge issue to divide and conquer.

I commend Mr. Boffman for his courageous stand. He is very clear on the mission of the Frederick County, Maryland Board of Education. The fact the election to the BOE is nonpartisan should remind those attempting to politicize it that they are doing a major disservice to the whole school system.

My faith in the people of Frederick has been vindicated on several occasions when the real leaders of our great county have stood up and defeated mean spirited proposals that have been made by a few. Without denying the problem of illegal immigration, it is worth noting that this situation is a direct result of the failure of the Federal Government who failed to adopt a comprehensive plan in recent years.

Local jurisdictions lack the expertise and resources to address it in a coherent way. There is just no way the 35,000+counties should come out with different proposals to address the issue. At a time when authorities of Prince William County, Va. are scaling back their crackdown on illegal immigration, it is worth bringing this to the attention of our elected officials. People who are still in the mind set of "Rounding them up and deporting them" should realize there are other options based on humanity, compassion and fairness.

The NAACP and its allies will remain forever vigilant in protecting people's rights in Frederick County, Maryland.

Guy Djoken is President NAACP Frederick County, Maryland Branch

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