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Conservationists tout Indiana's old mines and brownfields to develop renewable energy; Louisiana becomes 1st state to require the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools; Black Hills Visitor Center under new joint tribal, federal oversight; Judge set to rule on massive MT logging project.

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Former President Donald Trump says he loves Milwaukee, civil rights groups reject designated protest zones for the RNC convention and a New York Equal Rights Amendment is restored to the November ballot.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

Survey: Immigrant students feel invisible to teachers and peers

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Friday, November 17, 2023   

A new survey found immigrant students need better help in school.

The YouthTruth, Re-Imagining Migration survey was designed to examine the perspective of immigrant students as to how they are doing in school. The survey showed immigrant students do not feel they can be themselves there. There were also middling scores when asked if they feel like part of their school's community.

Adam Strom, executive director of the nonprofit Re-Imagining Migration, described the importance of an immigrant student's native language to their education.

"If you're in a school where folks are encouraging you to speak your own home language when appropriate, your school experience is much better," Strom asserted. "You have a much stronger sense of belonging. You have a much stronger sense that your peers like you. You see yourself in textbooks more, you see yourself in the classroom more and what's being taught."

He noted if schools take the opposite approach, it can increase a students' sense of isolation. While there has been more attention paid to immigrant student's mental health, cultural and attitudinal barriers like stigma were a factor. Strom argued schools being more inclusive of immigrant students and their families can improve their education.

Though there are ways to ensure immigrant students feel included, there are some challenges to making the strategies work. Along with anti-immigrant sentiments flooding the country, teacher shortages mean educators cannot be one-on-one with their students.

Jimmy Simpson Jr., director of partnerships for YouthTruth, said another factor is immigrant students are more than immigrants.

"Thinking that there are migrant students also part of the LGBTQ community, Black immigrant students or brown, BIPOC immigrant students," Simpson outlined. "They have very different types of experiences than a migrant student who may be white."

Simpson added seeing people beyond just being immigrants goes a long way to creating a welcoming environment for immigrant students in schools.

Disclosure: YouthTruth contributes to our fund for reporting on Education, Philanthropy, and Youth Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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