Messages of love and inclusion lined the entrance to the International Community School in Decatur on Sunday night, a gift of solidarity for refugees and other international students and their families arriving to school this morning.
The signs, apparently made by ICS parents and Medlock Park residents, showed opposition to an executive order from President Donald Trump on Friday that, in part, banned refugees from entering the United States for 120 days and banned Syrian refugees indefinitely.
“I think somebody in the community asked if they could put up one sign,” parent Brian Williams said. “From there, I don’t know what happened. I guess the rest of the community wanted to make sure the kids who showed up for school today knew they were welcome.”
Danny Vincent said she saw a Facebook post of a single sign placed at the school by her neighbor showing support for the ICS’s international students. She said she spoke with her 8-year-old daughter about posting additional signs.
“She was immediately on board,” Vincent wrote. “She has been very worried about people who might feel bad or scared because they are different. So we decided to reach out to several of her friends and see if they wanted to help out, too. By Sunday afternoon, we had a sign-making party with kids ranging from age 2 to 9th grade!”
Gina Sims wrote an encouraging note on Facebook after contributing to the sign display.
“We may not be able to change policy today,” she wrote, “but we can show love to those who might feel afraid. Yes. We can do that.”
DeKalb County School District officials did not respond to a requests for comment on the display.
Half of the DeKalb County elementary school's students are immigrants and refugees. After Trump was elected in November, several teachers and the principal said students were worried they would be sent to their former countries on the reality TV star’s word.
Trump’s ban also blocked anyone from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — from entering the country for 90 days.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorities temporarily detained 11 travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Saturday for hours, including five green card holders — lawful permanent residents — returning from trips to Iran.