‘You are welcome here’ – Refugee school plastered with signs


— The International Community School has been a fixture in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur for 15 years. It’s a public charter school where refugee children learn side by side neighborhood kids.

On Monday, when students arrived at school, they were greeted by signs. Dozens and dozens of them planted along the sidewalks. “You are welcome here,” said one. “You are loved,” said another.

They’d been placed by neighbors — and strangers — who wanted to send a message of solidarity after President Trump’s executive order banning refugee resettlement.

“Seeing them all together,” said Tanya Myers, a neighborhood resident, “was a really powerful sign.”

From 1 to 50

It started with one sign.

A neighbor posted on Facebook a photo of a sign she’d made and placed outside the school.

Soon, others followed.

Ten, then 20, then 50.

“You could see neighbors and their children pouring in,” resident Emily Holler said, recounting her trip to the school Sunday evening to leave a sign. “Everybody saying how wonderful the community is.”

Sign making party

Danny Vincent, a neighborhood resident, told CNN she asked her daughter if she wanted to make a sign.

On Sunday afternoon, she hosted five families with children ages 2 to 12 to make signs.

“For them, it was really important,” Vincent told CNN. “I think a lot of the stuff that we’ve tried to talk about, even at an 8-year-old level, feels very abstract.

“I can say pretty confidently when she gets nervous that she is safe and she’s going to be okay, but that there are a lot of kids that aren’t. So the opportunity for her and her friends to do something tangible in the face of something confusing and out of their control, when even the adults in their lives are nervous, is really empowering.”