Councilman: Public school staff telling immigrant Brooklyn students to ‘start packing their bags’ after Trump election

Welcome to America: Carlos Menchaca says Department of Education staffers are bullying immigrant children in the wake of Donald Trump’s election.
Brooklyn Daily
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Public school employees are bullying immigrant students in Bay Ridge and Sunset Park, saying “they’d better start packing their bags,” on the heels of Donald Trump’s election victory, according to a letter Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D–Sunset Park) and members of two local community education councils sent to schools chancellor Carmen Farina on Nov. 15.

“I recently met with parents from CECs 15 and 20 and local community organizations. They expressed urgent concerns about what their children have experienced at school since the recent national election,” Menchaca wrote. “Parents have reported to me alarming details of recent student bullying, harmful language, hostile treatment by non-teacher employees, and students overhearing inappropriate comments among DOE staff.”

Sunset Park is home to a sizable immigrant community, most notably from Mexico and China.

During the election, Trump made deporting Mexicans in particular a centerpiece of his platform and repeatedly disparaged Mexican immigrants as “criminals” and “rapists.”

There has been an uptick in hate crimes following the election, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has tallied more than 400 incidents nationwide since Nov. 9 — 137 specifically targeted immigrants.

A school custodian at PS 169 in Sunset Park was overheard saying, “I hope he builds the wall, and I hope they throw them over the fence,” according to a crossing guard who asked to remain anonymous because she did not have the Department of Education’s permission to speak to the press.

Parents there are outraged.

“It’s despicable to say things like that around children,” sad Sunset Parker Marisol Garcia, whose daughter is a first-grader at PS 169. “I want my daughter to feel safe at school. We shouldn’t have to worry about someone making her scared that we’re going to be deported.”

The school is known for its diversity, and the majority of its 1,624 students are Asian or Latino, according to Department of Education data.

And students aren’t just hearing things from school staff.

The morning after the election, people have driven by the school as students arrived for class shouting, “All you immigrants are moving out of here,” and “Yes, Trump won!,” according to the crossing guard.

Several students were crying out of fear that their families are going to be deported, according to parents. And some parents are even nervous to bring their students school following the election.

“It’s really upsetting to hear stuff like this is going on right here in Sunset Park, in an area that is so diverse,” said Victor Severino, whose son is a third-grader at PS 169. “I trust the school, but it It makes me nervous bringing my kid here.”

The city is investigating the reports and will follow up appropriately, according to an education department spokeswoman.

“Schools are safe havens for communities and we are dedicated to providing all students with a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment. We have explicit protocols and robust training programs in place to ensure any incidents of harassment, discrimination, or bullying are swiftly addressed,” said rep Toya Holness.

A man punched a fellow diner in the face at a downtown bistro last weekend after she made disparaging remarks about the president-elect.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 1:34 am, July 10, 2018: Updated to include a response from the Department of Education.
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Reader feedback

Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Have any of these advocates of illegal immigrants ever been fired by their employer and replaced with an undocumented worker willing to work for less than minimum wage?
I have.
Mr. ( One Term ) Mayor how about you?
When are the blue-collar workers of this city going to get the respect and appreciation for the contribution they make, monetary and otherwise for the betterment of this city, be recognized for their value?
Nov. 17, 2016, 6:44 pm
John from Windsor Terrace says:
To 'Bob' from Gerritsen Beach above. "Oh Bob how I appreciate you, so much, you are so wonderful and may I please pat you on your back for the really good job you've done, ahh, whatever you've done... ahh, maybe you just need some respect from your own family and leave it at that." I would add, being elected as mayor is probably way more of an accomplishment than Bob will ever achieve yet he's the one criticizing the mayor, as being on 'only his first term'? lol

Regarding the article, I hope immediate action is taken to remove anyone who would threaten a child with such violent assertions. While 'Bob' seems to think it is okay to threaten children or any immigrant, it is not 'Bob's' job to do so and behavior like this only undermines our city. But then again 'Bob' probably lost his job to an immigrant because the immigrant probably didn't complain so much, or threaten other people, assuming he actually lost his job to an immigrant.

Bob should take up his firing with his past employer and stop blaming other people. Actually, he should really just look in a mirror because he obviously has issues.
Nov. 18, 2016, 12:03 am
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Wow, John from Windsor.
You sound pretty convincing dissecting my behavior which you know very little about. I talk from experience. What's Your experience working with illegals? Did you ever have to compete with them at a physical job? Did you ever have a physical job? I have 17 years experience working with illegals and I saw them take over dozens of professions not because they were better workers; just because they work for less money. Actually, my problem isn't with the undocumented workers it's with the employers that hire them and make huge profits off of their cheap labor. Are you one of those employers? Are you getting rich off of hiring the illegals at the expense of hard-working American citizens or immigrants that came here illegally? But may I just had a news conference about his concerns about the welfare of a half 1 million undocumented workers living in the city. Where is his concerns with the laborers that can find work unless they work for less than minimum wage? Do you have any concerns about them?
Oh, by the way I did get my job back including back pay with the help of my union rep.
Nov. 18, 2016, 12:21 am
Joey says:
How about attacks on Trump supporters? Are those considered hate crimes? Plenty of those have occured just do a bit of internet research.
Nov. 18, 2016, 12:38 am
Sharon Rothenberg from Midwood says:
In response to Joey's comments, there have been many attacks on Hispanics and Clinton supporters in Brooklyn -- in fact numerous more than any attacks on Trump supporters. In fact, some Trump supporters have been found by the police to be lying about assaults. This can be verified by the police precincts.
Nov. 18, 2016, 8:51 am
Max Jaeger (Brooklyn Paper) says:
We are committed to reporting on both sides. Do you know of a particular attack in Brooklyn? Our tip line is (718) 260–8303. We can't be everywhere at once, so if you see something, give us a call.
Nov. 18, 2016, 10:44 am
jose from brooklyn says:
am a trump supporter and Hispanic born and raise in Brooklyn and I think that a lot or all immigrants are using the trump thing to get there 5 min of fame by saying they are being attack and I think it's all bull —— cause trump supporters don't need to pick on them we already won just lick your wounds like Clinton did and go home am sick of paying for high healthcare and you get it free and just keep having baby's just to get a bigger check and get more food stamps and sending our money back to your homeland and as for this one term mayor your the next one out we are sick of the crime in new York and you not backing my follow brothers at the NYPD I hope trumps son run for mayor so new York can get more money from his father president trump
Nov. 18, 2016, 8:43 pm
carmen from sunset park says:
wow you must be right jose that crossing guard or pix11 must be making up these's storys cause they can't get it right if it's a wall or fence maybe the kids in the school made this story up I hope no one or custodian gets hurt cause of this lying crossing guard they should lock her up and I also know that in the past few years the press people been at P S 169 at least 10 times cause the parents hate the principal cause is from some other oriental country other then china they use the press a lot in this school the press should fine something better to do and I wonder if councilman carlos menchaca was voted in by people who have the right papers to vote in this country
Nov. 19, 2016, 8:34 am
Steve Alvarez from Sunset Park, Brooklyn says:
My child goes to this school and I know which crossing guard said these accusations maybe the media should get their facts right first before publishing and covering false accusations. First off this crossing guard has personal issues with the custodians from my understanding all she does is gossip and stay in the school telling peoples business when she should be doing her job crossing kids she has gotten in trouble before for this issue. Also the whole custiodal staff is either Hispanic and Afro American. These people in the school should stop calling the media and just do their jobs and stop gossiping the only reason why they call on the principal is cause they don't like to work. Just like Claudia Membrano she knows the definition of non-working skills and A on loose lips. Good job councilmen, you're trying to protect the kids and community but you don't even know what's really going on at this school building or whose working in it and for it.
Nov. 19, 2016, 4:32 pm
Mary from Fort Greene says:
To all you folks complaining about illegal immigrants taking your jobs. If you're in a position where people who cant even speak the language can take your job from you, then you need to reevaluate your life decisions.
Nov. 19, 2016, 10:22 pm
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Mary from Fort Greene, I don't know where to begin to express how idiotic that statement you made is. Speaking from my own experiences working with illegals over 17 years. I had a union skilled job earning over 50 grand a year competing with people so desperate to have a job they worked for half my pay an additional 20 hours a week. My employer got away with this because these illegals have no rights and therefore was subject to exploitation. And while these undocumented workers stayed here they married and had children that they were unable to support. Because these children are American citizens, they are entitled to public assistance. Meanwhile my employer benefited hugely skirting the law by hiring these undocumented workers. Because they work off the books an employer doesn't pay any taxes related to that person. No payroll tax, no unemployment tax, no Social Security tax, think about that the next time the government doesn't give a Social Security increase to senior citizens. Also because employers high payroll from the federal government they can claim less income on their business especially if they renege cash business like supermarkets. So my friend Mary, think about all the extra taxes you're paying because our government won't enforce the Laws that are already on the books. If we punish employers the way the law is written, illegals could not find a job and will go back to whatever country they came from so no walls are needed and no extra border guards will be needed because they won't come here if they know they can't find work.
Nov. 19, 2016, 11:30 pm
sonia from williamsburg brooklyn says:
you go Bob and I think that people should let there anger out on the press and protest against the press cause there the ones that lie about the election polls and made you think that Hillary was going to win and all along they were helping TRUMP THE MAN win we all know that the makes up story's and can divide people and help over throw country's with there lie's people should wake up the press just want's to sell you a story
Nov. 20, 2016, 10:25 am
de blasio from sunset park says:
I think the Hispanics have to wait on line cause my hands are full with black life's matter movement and they were here first and the police don't have my back like I don't have there's sorry maybe Melissa mark viverito can help you cause am always late for everything sorry again maybe I can do something for you next year if you vote for me
Nov. 21, 2016, 12:21 pm
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
de blasio from sunset park ,Think you should start packing your bags :-)
Nov. 21, 2016, 6:14 pm

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