21 September 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Border No Boundary for Some Students

Students from a school in the Roma Independent School District cross the Miquel Aleman Bridge from Mexico into the United States.

Students from a school in the Roma Independent School District cross the Miquel Aleman Bridge from Mexico into the United States.

The Monitor photos by Gabe Hernandez  A student walks across the Miguel Aleman Bridge from Mexico to the United States with her guardian to attend a school in the Roma Independent School District.

The Monitor photos by Gabe Hernandez A student walks across the Miguel Aleman Bridge from Mexico to the United States with her guardian to attend a school in the Roma Independent School District.

A quick glance at all the border-binary related news for the week brought this amazing story to my attention.

“In so many families, the community is not divided by a border like the land,” said Elaine Hampton, a University of Texas-El Paso professor who has studied educational systems on both sides of the border. “It makes it hard to peg exactly where you live. What constitutes a permanent address?”

I think that is a critical question. There is no permanent and stable ‘identity’ and moreover, life in itself is not ‘permanent’ so how can anyone have a ‘permanent address?’ More people than ever before work, study and live outside countries where they were born and the numbers are likely to go up.

Coming back to the story, I am often amazed at the lengths that some parents go for their children, to provide them with a better future (or what they deem a better future). The presence of these students in schools across the border most probably enriches the classroom and provides for a greater cultural experience for everyone.

Of course, the nativists–devoid of any sense of history and borderlands culture–are going to express another round of outrage i.e. “Look they are sending their illegal kids to our schools, committing crimes by lying on public documents, overcrowding them, and decreasing standardized scores all at our expense!”

Look beyond the imaginary lines on a map. These kids know how to do that and challenge those arbitrary boundaries every school day. Why can’t everyone else?

%d bloggers like this: