A Timely Analogy…

Johnny slipped quietly into room 201 at the Everyday Elementary School and took a seat next to the little girl with the blonde pigtails and bright yellow dress.  Unlike the little girl, Johnny had no lunch box in tow or backpack full of notebooks and pencils to start his day. He explained to the little girl, when she asked who he was and why he had nothing with him, that although he desperately needed supplies and food, he’d rather be unprepared sitting in the classroom than be home where his family had nothing and he felt abandoned and desperate. The little girl listened and felt for Johnny’s circumstance and hoped that starting school in this new place would help him to flourish and feel as happy as she was in her school.

When the teacher entered the classroom, the students quieted down and eagerly waited for attendance to be taken.  One by one the students’ names were called as some responded with a loud and excited “here” while others sheepishly raised their hands in an effort to hold onto their anonymity.  When the teacher finished calling the names and appeared to be moving on to the first lesson of the year, the little girl raised her hand in earnest to get her attention.  “Ms. Smith,” she called when she realized she wasn’t accomplishing her goal.  The teacher looked up and nodded for the little girl to speak.  The little girl in turn informed the teacher that she never called the little boy’s name who sat next to her.

The teacher, slightly embarrassed apologized to Johnny and asked for his name.  Johnny gave her his full name and then seemed to shrink within his seat as if bracing himself.  After several minutes of searching through her roster and flipping pages, the teacher informed Johnny that he must be in the wrong classroom as there was no record of him in her attendance book.  She asked to see Johnny’s room assignment card to clarify the proper room with him, but Johnny did not have a card to show Ms. Smith. She apologized again, as she could see how upset the little boy was becoming, but assured him that it must have just been a glitch in the main office and together they would figure it out after the class.

At the front office, it became clear that Johnny was not registered in the school at all.  There was no record of him as a current or incoming student.  Johnny was a smart boy, he already knew this, but hoped since it was a public school he would be free to enter and take class and enjoy the benefits of learning, especially since his home life was less than perfect and he was a good person who simply wanted an education and a chance.  The Principal was moved to tears by Johnny’s story and explained to him that if she could, she would let him stay in the school but unfortunately the school had rules and procedures they needed to follow.  She further explained that the system was in place for the safety of ALL the students by helping the administration account for each child and to ensure that those in the building were in the school for proper motives.

Yes, she explained, it was a public school and free to anyone regardless of ethnicity, religious background or gender, however registration was still mandatory to ensure proper inoculation, identity and to track performance and disciplinary records.  She asked Johnny, “could you imagine a school of children with no names and no records to refer to?  There would be no accountability for bad or good behavior. In order to keep a well flowing and safe learning environment for all, all who enter the building must be initiated to the rules and agree to respect and adhere to policies.  In doing so, they agree that if they do not, then they will be asked to leave.  If they are never schooled and made to agree to our policies, then its near impossible to hold them to those rules.”

Johnny was devastated, as was the teacher, principal and the little girl.  All of them felt heartfelt sympathy for Johnny and longed to help him, but they also all realized that bending the rules was impossible and unfair to those students who were properly registered and accounted for within the school.  In an effort to aid Johnny’s plight, they did however offer him a meal, a book and a pencil as well as a referral to the proper agency who could look into Johnny’s home life, assess the danger of said situation, and get the ball rolling on both Johnny’s legal removal from the home if need be and his subsequent documented registration into school.  Once those avenues were crossed, Johnny could then further apply for benefits and aid such as enrolling in a meal plan at school to get him on his feet in his new life which he was willing to work so hard and honorably to achieve.

All recognized that this process may take longer than they wished, but they also understood that the school could not function properly and safely without accounting for ALL students who roamed their halls. Also, others had already started the process to register at the school and it would be unfair to circumvent all that they had done to follow proper procedure.  Most importantly, allowing any random student to walk the halls unaccounted for could potentially result in the admittance of a child who wished to do the other students harm.  That is a risk they could absolutely not take with their existing student body, especially in today’s sometimes volatile climate.

Thankfully for all, there is a process in place to follow to meet the ends which keep safe those who are already within the confines of the facility, as well as those who wish to share in the benefits of their beautiful school. The system may not be perfect, and the rules and procedures can be cumbersome at times, but circumventing them, at even the slightest chance of the detriment to others, simply should not be an option…

The immigration issue is such a passionate debate, especially with the caravan and ‘build the wall’ issue in recent months. Unfortunately, within the media outlets and entertainment industry, those on the right of the issue have been demonized as cold-hearted and racist. I’m confused everyday as to why that is the case? Yes, I’m sure there are individuals who simply do not want others here based on ethnicity and religion, but that is not the bulk attitude of those on the right.  What seems to be conveniently left out over and over is that many, like I, feel that this country is a beautiful melting pot of people.  My heart breaks everyday for those in countries less than ours, as well as for people within our country who suffer daily despite efforts to get ahead.  I welcome anyone to our country who takes the proper legal avenues to enter, just as my ancestors did before me.  I simply cannot compromise my children’s safety and opportunities in any way, and to ensure that, I ask that my government please properly vet those who apply for entry.  I do not think that’s unreasonable, or cruel.  In contrast, its proactive and in the best interest of all parties. I fail to see why this is even a debate issue. To me, it’s a no-brainer. In response to the recent crisis, I penned the above analogy.  To be clear, I don’t wish to upset anyone or downgrade the many who suffer and need amnesty from the horrors they face. I even concede that the vast majority are probably upstanding individuals who truly need our help. I just ask that they take the steps to enter our beautiful country, in a proper way, so that we may all continue to benefit from the freedoms and opportunities afforded us.  After all, they are coming here for safety and at the very least we should uphold that benefit at the point of entry.

Thank you for reading and God Bless those in need of a Country where they too can feel safe, we owe it to ourselves and them to ensure that we continue to be just that, a safe haven with rules in place to maintain that order.