LAUSD Starts Support Hotline For Students Who Fear Trump's America

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LAUSD Board President Steve Zimmer answers questions at a November press conference. (Photo by Julia Wick/LAist)

Amid widespread panic about an impending Trump Administration, the Los Angeles Unified School District has initiated a hotline for students with questions and concerns about the potential impact on them and their families. The district has also opened "extended support sites" to provide students with "emotional support, enrollment and attendance information and referrals to outside resources," according to a recorded call from Superintendent Michelle King that went out to parents and teachers Monday.

The recorded calls were delivered in English and Spanish, according to the L.A. Times. LAUSD is the nation's second largest school district and enrolls more than 640,000 students. For context, that number is roughly equivalent to the population of the entire city of Seattle. Fears have been running high in the district, which is 74% Latino, since November 8. There were widespread student walkouts on four consecutive days following the election, and LAUSD leadership has affirmed their commitment to the district's undocumented students a number of times in the intervening month.

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. 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.

"It's important to look at the rhetoric the President-elect chose to use during the election, and we have no reason to believe he doesn't mean what he said. It's heightened anxiety among our students and our parents," Zimmer said at the time. "But, of course, that fear was already present, even before the election."

The Extended Support Sites will be located at district field offices as well as the Hollywood FamilySource Center, and will be manned between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. More information about locations and services offered can be found here. The number for the support hotline is (866) 742-2273.

Here is the full transcript of King's recorded message, according to an LAUSD spokesperson:

Hello. This is Supt. Michelle King with an important message for the L.A. Unified family.

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. As part of our commitment to providing a safe and positive learning environment, we are providing additional resources for our 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. 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 and concerns. We invite you to visit lausd.net for details about these and other resources.

Thank you.