Greeley, CO school system struggling to educate all of the refugee kids; want meatpacker to help pay for it
Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 30, 2012
Yesterday, I thought I would check and see what was new in Greeley (Weld County) Colorado after all of the turmoil there in 2008 over a demand by newly arrived Somali workers at meatpacking plants to have special break times during Ramadan. At first Swift caved in to their demands and then all hell broke loose with the other ethnic workers, especially the Hispanics, who protested the special treatment for Muslim workers. The Somalis walked out and many were fired. A lot of the fired Somali workers from Greeley moved on to Cargill at Ft. Morgan (but that is a story for another day).
At the time we created an entire category on the controversy (here it is) and here is just one of many posts summarizing what happened. In a nutshell, the big meatpackers were being raided by the feds looking for illegal workers in the early to mid-2000s. So they went to “legal” refugee labor (thanks to the US State Department) and welcomed the Somalis, thereby causing themselves a different sort of problem. Cities like Greeley and neighboring Ft. Morgan initially swooned over the joys of diversity brought to their cities.
Changing the subject for a bit….
Was the Muslim Brotherhood born in Greeley? Say what!
In an incredible twist of fate, the answer is Yes! in a roundabout way. See this post I wrote about Greeley in 2008 (and btw, the State Department set up a refugee office in 2007 for Greeley and Ft. Morgan in advance of the trouble that began with Swift the following year).
Do you know the name Sayed Qutb considered one of the greatest thinkers in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood? In 1952 he studied at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and was appalled by the decadence of American society (yes, in 1952!). He was especially offended by dancing he observed at a church function and saw what we now commonly call Shariah Law—a complete government/religious system—as the solution.
After returning to Egypt he joined the fledgeling (at that time) Muslim Brotherhood and wrote some of its earlier treatises that Islamists still look to today for guidance. He became one of its preeminent leaders and was executed by Nasser along with other Muslim Brotherhood leaders in 1966. Think about it, his early work has led to al-Qaeda and to the now Muslim Brotherhood controlled Egypt.
But I digressed! Back to Greeley 2012.
Wouldn’t Qutb be astounded to see Muslims gaining a foothold in Greeley!
I haven’t visited the Greeley/Ft. Morgan topic for awhile, so just checking around I found this article from a few days ago about how the school system in one portion of Weld County can’t handle the costs of all the refugee students they must educate.
This is not the only place where a school system is struggling with large numbers of third worlders who don’t speak English. I recently let two previous stories pass me by (didn’t post them) on the same subject—school system problems—one was from Burlington, VT, the other was from a Texas city, can’t remember which city.
Here is the story from Northern Colorado Business Report (emphasis is mine):
The county wants Swift (a Brazilian company), the “source of its problems,” to help pay for their schools! And, why not? I’ve argued for years that these meatpackers get the cheap “legal” immigrant labor and then social services, schools (and police) in the surrounding community get the extra costs dumped on them!
GREELEY – Born in a Kenyan refugee camp, Asha Abdi spoke no English when she arrived to the U.S. more than five years ago. Today, she’s fluent, thanks to her own desire to learn and the work of her teachers at Weld County’s School District 6. [Abdi’s is the inevitable appealing face of the refugee that most mainstream articles begin with—ed!]
A senior at Greeley West High School, Abdi is a Somali and, although she is thousands of miles from her homeland, she is far from alone. The 17-year-old is one of 434 refugee students who attend schools in the district. Her two sisters and a brother are among them, part of an immigrant population that includes thousands more students who speak dozens of different languages. More than a quarter of District 6 students are learning English as a second language.
Like Asha and her siblings, many are the children of parents drawn to Weld County by jobs at one of Northern Colorado’s largest employers, JBS USA in Greeley.
Their swelling ranks have helped to create one of the more diverse student bodies in Colorado. But there’s a high cost associated with educating these children, an expense that is fast becoming an unmanageable burden for District 6, leaving it with fewer dollars for other programs.
Faced with shrinking funding from the state and federal government, District 6 is now looking for help from the very source of its problem: JBS itself.
Then get this! They want to make you think that all these refugees just showed up in Weld and Morgan counties spontaneously in 2008! In 2007, in one of the first posts I ever wrote at RRW, I told you that the State Department was opening a refugee resettlement office for Greeley and Ft. Morgan, here (unfortunately the link at the Greeley Tribune is now gone!). This infusion of refugee labor was planned in advance!
Families like Abdi’s have been coming here since the spring of 2008, when 10 students from Somali families who got jobs at JBS enrolled in the school district. Today, the District 6 student population comprises 20 nationalities, including children from Myanmar, Guatemala, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Indonesia.
So JBS Swift has to pay-up, after all they are responsible (along with the US State Department and the Refugee contractors who are the head-hunters for Swift?). But, then that is us—the US taxpayer!—we have helped make this happen through our silence!
Nancy Matchett, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Northern Colorado and director of the Institute of Professional Ethics, thinks District 6 has a good case to make. [Does Nancy know about Qutb and his ‘education’ at UNC?—ed]
“They have a kind of duty of charity to give to the school districts,” she said of JBS. “They are primarily responsible for this large influx (of refugees) that places a burden on the local school system. We don’t have a political system that is set up in such a way to absorb those costs.”
But there is a benefit to us! We get DIVERSITY! So much CULTURE! Heck, we get to learn about the massacres of villagers in the third world! That is worth something, isn’t it?
District 6 educators say they appreciate the global perspective that the refugee students bring into their classrooms.[LOL! just broke the BS meter—ed]
“They add so much culture to our community and to our district,” said Kathi VanSoest, the district’s executive director of student support services. “It’s been a great experience while also being a very impactful experience.”
They also tell of atrocities, including the massacre of fellow villagers. “They’ve seen some things that you don’t know how they’re OK,” Hoff said.
There is much more, read it all.
So where does Abdi, the star of this story, plan to go to college? The University of Northern Colorado of course. Ain’t it grand!
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