Hispanic community leaders call emergency meeting to address election fallout

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Fallout over Donald Trump’s election continues across the country, and now it’s impacting many people in the East.

Several minority groups say they’re worried about what their future looks like under President Trump. Trump’s campaign promises to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border have many Hispanics in the East living in fear. They say others are now playing into that fear.

Several Hispanic families in the area have reported their children being bullied in school since the election last week.

“Calling them names. ‘Now, you’re going to be deported because you’re not welcome here or because you are Mexican or because you are brown.’ So those type of things are going on in this community,” said Juvencio Rocha-Peralta, Executive Director for the Association of Mexicans in North Carolina, or AMEXCAN.

It’s not just younger children. On ECU’s campus last week, someone vandalized the Cupola, writing, among other things “build that wall.”

Hispanic community members came together at an AMEXCAN meeting late last week to discuss their concerns.

“A few fear to send their children to school. Children don’t want to go to school because they’re being bullied. You know, ‘Mom, I don’t want to go to school because I fear if I go to school, I’m going to be bullied because they’re going to tell me that I need to go back to where I come from. And I don’t want that,'” Rocha-Peralta said.

That’s why AMEXCAN and The Eastern North Carolina Latin American Coalition are holding an emergency meeting Tuesday night. School leaders, local organizations, parents, and concerned citizens are invited to attend. The goal is to discuss how to move forward and eliminate the hatred many say we’re seeing as a result of Trump’s election. It starts at 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Greenville.

WNCT reached out to Pitt County Schools to find out how they’re handling such incidents. Communications Director Travis Lewis released the following statement:

Pitt County Schools has received one report since the election thus far regarding a Hispanic student being bullied by other students.  In that instance, the school administrators worked to mediate the situation so that we could help the accused learn to empathize with their peers and coexist together in class peacefully for the remainder of the school year and beyond, while also holding the accused accountable per our Code of Student Conduct.  PCS administrators and staff continue to be watchful for such behavior so that we can address it accordingly.  As such, we ask parents and students who are aware of instances of bullying behavior to report it either directly to the school administrators or via the school’s bullying reporting line (which can be found along with other useful information about bullying at http://www.pitt.k12.nc.us/Page/1519) .  Reports can also be submitted via email to concerns@pitt.k12.nc.us.

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