Resources for protecting, helping immigrant students

In the wake of the 2016 election, educators have found themselves in a time of uncertainty. Some students have questions. Some are afraid amid an uptick in racially charged incidents at several Minnesota schools and President Donald Trump’s travel ban. The American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, National Association of School Psychologists, Colorín Colorado, Teaching Tolerance, United We Dream, The Advocates for Human Rights and National Child Traumatic Stress Network have online resources available for educators who have questions, need guidance or want to help protect their students.

AFT’s Share My Lesson digital resources
Share My Lesson has digital resources designed to educate all students about immigration and create inclusive school communities. The collection of resources covers topics such as immigration policy and rights, how to build an inclusive classroom, information on the immigrant experience and mental health resources. Included in the online resources is a guide to help protect and prepare immigrant youth and families for immigration and customs raids, which features a handout with six tips educators and school staff can do in that situation. Classroom resources include lesson plans on immigrants’ rights and how to discuss the Syrian civil war.

The collection can be found at

NEA safe schools, immigrant support resources
The NEA has numerous resources and toolkits around diversity and cultural competency, as well as how to help immigrant students in schools. Resources include a booklet on legal issues for school districts related to the education of undocumented children and information on how you can advocate for students and their families. The NEA’s site also features a comic book created by students called “Super DACA Defenders.”
These classroom resources can be found at

NEA EdJustice, the union’s social justice campaign, also has resources on immigration rights and how educators can help. This website includes tips on creating a “safe zone” resolution for school boards, a guide from the National Immigration Law Center and what educators can do in the event of an immigration raid.

These resources can be found at

Support for refugee children from the National Association of School Psychologists
The NASP has a webpage dedicated to tips for educators in order to best support refugee children and youth. The site includes resources on how to understand and recognize stressors, understand the effect of trauma on school functioning, identify students who are at high risk and how to plan interventions, access resources in local communities and equip staff with trauma-sensitive responses and supports.

To read more about the tips and resources, go to

Colorín Colorado resources, updates
Colorín Colorado is a national multimedia project, sponsored by the NEA and AFT, that is focused on providing resources for families and educators of English language learners. The site features frequently asked questions about enrollment of immigrant students or students who are children of immigrants, resources on the laws and policies regarding immigrant students in schools and ways to make students feel welcome.

To see these resources, go to

The website also features articles, video clips, books, research, reports and online resources that focus on ways educators can support students and families who are refugees.

These resources can be found at

Teaching Tolerance lesson plans, classroom activities
Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, provides many classroom resources and lesson plan ideas for educators. The site features numerous resources to help students recognize and respond to bias against immigrants, Muslims and Sikhs, as well as an educator’s guide to the immigration debate. Included in the lesson plans are ways to use photographs to expose anti-immigrant sentiments, 10 myths about immigration, religious diversity webinars, a lesson about a child’s experience coming to this country and lessons on religious clothing.

These resources and more can be found at

United We Dream curriculum, webinars and DACA resources
United We Dream is an immigrant youth-led organization made up of over 100,000 immigrant youth and allies and 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states. The organization has multiple resources for educators, including information on how educators can help students who may qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), webinars with resources for educators and undocumented students and curriculum on education, immigration and identity.
To see all of the resources from this organization, go to

The Advocates for Human Rights resources for teaching human rights issues
The Advocates for Human Rights is a nonprofit organization that has created online resources for educators interested in human rights education. The website features an online manual for those interested in becoming human rights educators, lesson plans organized by grade and topic, toolkits, book recommendations and a presentation on addressing the achievement gap.

These resources can be found at

National Child Traumatic Stress Network refugee trauma resources
The NCTSN is an organization funded by the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is jointly coordinated by UCLA and Duke University. The organization’s website features a refugee trauma page, with specific information for schools and educators. Topics covered on the site include what experiences refugee students might face in schools, steps educators and administrators can take to support refugee youth and examples of trauma-related behaviors that might be specific to refugee children.

Find all of the information for educators at