School communities at Minneapolis' South High School and Marcy Open School came together in a display of support for students Tuesday morning.
Teachers and staff at South High stood outside school doors Tuesday morning with signs like "Immigrants make America GREAT" and "NO ONE is ILLEGAL" as students walked into the building after a long weekend. At Marcy Open in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood, about 20 people, including teachers, staff, parents and students, held welcoming signs outside school.
It was students' first day at school since Thursday because of a couple days off for students, and their first moments in school since President Donald Trump announced the ban on refugees from some countries.
Minneapolis schools Superintendent Ed Graff said in a statement Monday that the district backed immigrant students and families.
"We view our diversity as one of our greatest strengths," he said in the statement.
Four teachers led the effort to bring staff together for the Tuesday welcome at South High, said the school's public relations coordinator Lisa Ramirez: Corinth Matera, Mary Manor, Rob Panning-Miller and Corbin Doty.
Ramirez said about 40 to 50 staff members, mostly teachers, participated in the morning greeting. Teachers and staff lined the school's entryway.
They held signs including "REFUGEES are WELCOME HERE," "Hate-Free Zone" and "We Stand With Our Muslim Students."
Some sang "We Shall Overcome" as kids came in the building, and some choir students joined in, Ramirez said.
Marcy is a kindergarten through eighth-grade school with about 18 percent English Language Learners, said Principal Donna Andrews. She said Tuesday was a calm first day back at school.
"I really support the idea of letting kids know that they are all welcome here, all the time," Andrews said.
All hail, gallant tigers! We are here for you. We are unafraid. pic.twitter.com/d1mkQJ7ULO— Minneapolis South (@SouthHighMpls) January 31, 2017