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The School I Deserve: Six Young Refugees and Their Fight for Equality in America (Compact Disc)
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"Education is a key factor in escaping poverty. For many refugee children, such as Sudanese Khadidja Issa, an American education is their ticket to providing their families a better life than what they escaped in their home country. in THE SCHOOL I DESERVE, Jo Napolitano's reporting of Issa v. School District of Lancaster, set against the backdrop of Trump's xenophobic rise to power, reminds us that America should be a nation of opportunity for all who seek it in its borders."
— Mattie B.
Journalist Jo Napolitano, a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, delves into the landmark ACLU case in which the School District of Lancaster, Pennsylvania was sued for refusing to admit older non-English speaking refugees and sending them to a high-discipline alternative school. Six refugee students fought alongside the ACLU to demand equal access to education. One of the students, eighteen-year-old Khadidja Issa, fled the horrific violence in war-torn Sudan with the hope of a safer life in the United States, where she could have access to an education. Instead, she was barred from enrollment by the School District of Lancaster and admitted to Phoenix Academy--a for-profit alternative school with multiple abuse allegations, where students were subjected to daily pat-downs and random searches. Napolitano follows Khadidja as she bravely decides to join the ACLU's lawsuit as the plaintiff in the ISSA vs. The School District of Lancaster case. The fiery week-long showdown between the ACLU and the school district was ultimately decided by a conservative Republican judge who, to everyone's surprise, ruled in favor of the refugees. The School I Deserve sheds light upon the lack of support immigrant and refugee children face in our education system and presents a hopeful future where all children can receive an equal education regardless of race, ethnicity, or their country of origin.