Idaho drivers are harassing buses carrying migrant children, community agency says


BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Officials say drivers have been following and harassing buses transporting the children of seasonal and migrant farmworkers for early childhood education programs in Idaho.

The Idaho Statesman reported Tuesday that the Community Council of Idaho plans to remove and conceal the “Migrant and Seasonal Head Start” signs on the busses.

The council says staff members believe the harassment experienced by dozens of children and bus drivers across the state stems from some people believing the migrant workers have entered the U.S. illegally.

Several Head Start centers also are planning to add security cameras and tint windows on buses as well as make playgrounds safer.

“Our hearts are hurting for these children and families who do not deserve this sort of treatment. When we heard this was happening we immediately discussed an action plan on improving safety, which will be costly but it is our priority,” the Council wrote in a Facebook post. “Hate is not welcome here. No one should be reacting to the word “Migrant” in such a negative way.”

According to the newspaper, the Council, which runs 10 Head Start programs, hopes to work with local law enforcement. However, Sonnay Alvarez, a spokeswoman for the council said they haven’t reported the incidents to police yet, and a spokesman for the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to the newspaper that no one reported local incidents.

The council’s Head Start programs serve about 800 children each year. The council’s programs serve low-income children in families working agricultural jobs.

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