Elementary school students in Crossville, Alabama (AP)Even more Hispanic students were absent from schools Monday following a federal judge's decision to let the state's tough new immigration law go into effect on Thursday.
Malissa Valdes, a spokeswoman for Alabama's education department, told The Lookout that total absences among Hispanic students rose from 2,011 on Friday to 2,285 on Monday. The state is still collecting data on how many students have withdrawn altogether.
About 7 percent of the total Hispanic student population did not show up to school on Monday. School officials suspect that many of those children have parents who are illegal immigrants who were scared to bring them to school because the new law says parents should provide schools with a birth certificate for their child. Superintendents have stressed that any parent or child who can't provide a birth certificate will not face adverse consequences.
But the widespread absences continued Monday, according to local news reports. More than 110 Hispanic students were absent yesterday from Huntsville schools, about 70 more than usual. Huntsville is set to lose $4,500 in state funding for each student who withdraws, WaayTV reports. In schools in the small town of Fort Payne, 31 students have already withdrawn permanently. Another 48 Hispanic students were absent on Monday, according to the Times-Journal. As of Monday, 123 Hispanic students withdrew from Albertville schools, and another 58 were absent, according to the Sand Mountain Reporter.
According to data from Kids Count, about 79,000 children in Alabama live in immigrant families. Most of them are citizens.