Tonight: Pols will push back at school workers who told immigrants to ‘pack your bags’ during town hall

Leading the charge: Rep. Nydia Velzaquez and Councilman Carlos Menchaca, seen here at a recent anti-Trump rally, are holding a meeting to address racist comments that area school workers are making to immigrant children in the wake of the election.
File photo by Georgine Benvenuto

Officials will host a town hall meeting at IS 136 in Sunset Park on Nov. 28 to address reports that school workers have been telling immigrant kids to “start packing their bags” in the wake of Donald Trump’s election.

Shortly after Trump’s Nov. 8 victory, Department of Education staff began harassing students in school districts 15 and 20, which together stretch from Cobble Hill and Park Slope to Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst, according to a letter that Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D–Sunset Park) and school board leaders sent to Chancellor Carmen Farnia on Nov. 15.

One 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 school crossing guard there who asked not to be named because she did not have permission to speak to the press.

Menchaca led hundreds of Sunset Parkers in a march along Fourth Avenue on Nov. 20 to show solidarity in the wake of the election and news of the student harassment.

The upcoming meeting will include a panel discussion with local pols Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D–Sunset Park), Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D–Sunset Park), Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope), and Menchaca.

Legal aides and immigration counselors will also be available to answer questions, and translators for Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic will be present.

District 15 town hall meeting at IS 136 [4004 Fourth Ave. between 40th and 41st streets in Sunset Park, (718) 965–3333] Nov. 28, 7–8:30 pm.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.

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