Is Georgia's New Immigration Law Affecting Local School Systems?

By: Donnitra Gilbert Email
By: Donnitra Gilbert Email

Thomasville, GA -- August 8, 2011 --

Classes are back in session across South Georgia, but Eyewitness News wanted to find out whether the Thomas County School System is being affected by Georgia's new immigration law. Based on our findings, the new law hasn't changed much in local schools.

Meet Agustin Gonzales and his parents. Tuesday will be his first day in Kindergarten.

Agustin's parents enrolled him at Hand-in-Hand Elementary with high hopes of giving him what they couldn't get themselves: an education. But many immigrants are now worried that their kids will not have that chance because of House Bill 87.

"I do understand that the law created some fear when it first passed," says Thomas County Schools Superintendent Dusty Kornegay.

The bill was signed into law on July 1, 2011 and school staff tell us that's the day fear was inked into the lives of many illegal immigrants.

"We have a couple of people who already moved because of the law," says Hand- In- Hand Elementary School teacher Diana Searcy

Something Principal Jeanna Mayhall says is unnecessary.

"We don't care if they're black, white, Hispanic. We don't keep count of that," says Mayhall.

There are more than five thousand students in Thomas County classrooms and, of those, 185 are Hispanic.

Kornegay says his staff will not monitor whether students are illegal immigrants or not. He also says all students in the area are welcome to an equal education.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by mary Location: thomasville on Aug 11, 2011 at 10:56 AM
    I feel if the hispanic want to live here then they need to be legal. All of the resources that we have are for our children that are American. Don't come in our country and live off our wlfare and food stamps and we have children that need food and can't get it. Come on people wake up to the real world. I say let them go back home .
  • by teacher maestra Location: anywhere but there on Aug 9, 2011 at 09:55 PM
    What sadness and ignorance! I cannot believe that you feel Hispanics have made your Education system worse!So anyone that is brown and has an Hispanic surname has to show they are citizens??? This is wrong and unconstitutional!
    • reply
      by GV on Aug 10, 2011 at 07:43 AM in reply to teacher maestra
      No,how about everybody,regardless of what they look like,has to show proof.Idiot.
    • reply
      by Mia on Aug 10, 2011 at 05:13 PM in reply to teacher maestra
      Everyone is required to show where they were born. Any resources redirected to those who are not in compliance of the law at the expense of those who are is wrong. Your ignorant statements and use of a racially based emphasis on ethnicity and physical features is antiquated and emotive. This represents removal of resources from those citizens who have complied with the law to those who thumb their noses at our laws and culture. Less books, less materials for instruction, larger classroom sizes, less time with a teacher, etc... My Mexican Uncle would not be happy to see his grandchildren denied resources that they are entitled to after he worked so hard to become a citizen of this country given away to anyone who sneaked into this country on either side of the border.
  • by John Boy on Aug 9, 2011 at 08:48 AM
    "We don't care if they're black, white, Hispanic. We don't keep count of that," says Mayhall. Who doesn't keep count of that? Teachers have to fill out forms on a regular bases of number of males-females, black, white, hispanic, others, in their classes. OCR is always checking to make sure that the school and classes are in compliance
  • by Gman on Aug 9, 2011 at 06:32 AM
    Any government subsidized program SHOULD REQUIRE proof of citizenship!!! It's like a receipt for the benefit you are receiving!!
  • by Louise Location: FL on Aug 9, 2011 at 04:46 AM
    My son just graduated from a high school in SW Florida with a 75% hispanic attendance. We need a solid immigration law in Florida before our whole state has been taken over by illegals. Florida is almost broke from entitlement programs and getting worse everyday. Our so called governor who I unfortunately voted for hasn't lived up to his promises and this will not be forgotten in the next election.
  • by Georgia Boy Location: Cairo on Aug 9, 2011 at 02:57 AM
    If a child's parents are illegal aliens they should not be allowed in schools paid for by the taxpayers of this country. Period.
    • reply
      by Gman on Aug 9, 2011 at 06:29 AM in reply to Georgia Boy
      DITTO.......
  • by Steve Location: Marietta, Georgia on Aug 8, 2011 at 06:38 PM
    Buh-bye you invader! Come back when you have a visa! I won't go to Lebanon, or Mexico, without my s*** in order. What's wrong with that? Buh-bye you come back soon now, just make it legal! Thanx.
  • by Ivy Location: Rome, Ga on Aug 8, 2011 at 06:31 PM
    I am a school teacher here in Rome. The hispanic population at our school has not changed. It may be a little higher than last year. We have two schools that are above 40 percent hispanic immigrant. All of these schools have seen no change in the hispanic immigrant student population as of last week's registration. We do not sense fear or anticipation of calamity among our parents. Business as usual.
    • reply
      by GV on Aug 9, 2011 at 05:45 AM in reply to Ivy
      You are a teacher and you don't know that if the population is alittle higher that last years than that is a population change?Hope you never teach my child.
  • by Jim Location: Gadsden County on Aug 8, 2011 at 04:59 PM
    To whom is controversial? It is controversial to the people that disagree with it. The ones that disagree with it are the illegal aliens and their enablers. Immigrate legally.
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