One group is home, and the school district said it is in communication with the other families still stranded in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
"Had we not invested in trust to begin with, we wouldn't even be having this conversation," said Tamara Otero, Cajon Valley Union School District governing board president. "We know who our kiddos are, and we want them home. We want them safe."
The 24 children and 16 parents went to Afghanistan earlier this summer to visit extended family but were stranded when the Taliban seized control in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal. Most of the families were in the U.S. on special immigrant visas after working in Afghanistan for the U.S. government or U.S. military, according to officials.
— Michael Chen (@10NewsChen) August 23, 2021
Otero anxiously awaits the return of the others who might be stranded, he said.
"I think there's a concern that there's likely hundreds of other children, if not thousands of other children there, that were once enrolled in California schools, that perhaps cannot get back home," he said.
District Superintendent David Miyashiro said the Aug. 31 deadline needs to be "looked at" when it comes to getting families out of the country.
"We urge based on all we've learned from intel and what's happening there, that we need more time. That deadline needs to be looked at," he said. "Not just for the severity and the crisis that occurred but for the actual need to get, not just our children home and their families but to get our troops home safely too."
Cajon Valley officials have been working closely with Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, whom they said has been "instrumental" in bringing the misplaced groups back home.
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Original Author: Luke Gentile