Sandoval school community reaffirms commitment to safety, acceptance of all students

DENVER – Parents, educators and students came together, Jan. 27, for a walk-in at Academia Ana Marie Sandoval, celebrating the school’s unity and diversity through art during the school’s Artivism week. The community is also creating a resolution statement to reinforce Sandoval’s values to remain a safe and welcoming place to all students and families.

“In the current political climate, we found it necessary to celebrate at Sandoval, as a community, the ideals that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for and to march against hateful words and actions,” said Sandoval teacher Christina Medina. A member of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, Medina serves on the board of directors of the Colorado Education Association, representing CEA’s Ethnic Minority Advisory Council. “Our students, faculty, administration, and community came together to show our students that we support every one of them.”

The walk-in comes two days after CEA and DCTA stood with Padres & Jóvenes Unidos and Denver Public Schools, vowing to protect immigrant and refugee students “from deportation, criminalization, intimidation and harassment” in a joint statement.

“I saw kids coming together to support each other,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, vice president of the Colorado Education Association, at the Sandoval walk-in. “As educators, we don’t look out into our classrooms and see immigration status. We see kids who want to learn and it’s our duty to teach them, no matter who they are or where they come from.”

Organizers said the walk-in was inspired by parent feedback calling for a stronger stance from the community to support fair treatment and acceptance of all people. The school decided to lead the community effort after a meeting of passionate teachers and parents united by a love of learning, an appreciation for other cultures, and a desire to create a peaceful world.