On a 'Day Without Immigrants,' local schools see increase of absences

SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) -- The 'Day Without Immigrants' movement took place all over the nation Thursday, including here in Texoma. In Sherman ISD schools alone, more than a thousand students were absent, hundreds more than normal.

Many parents marched right next to their kids throughout the day at the Grayson County Courthouse, along with dozens of people. They said they hope their absence doesn't go unnoticed.

"Classes are empty, I saw a total of four students in a class," Teresa Garza said.

With President Donald Trump's pledge to increase the deportation of immigrants living in the country illegally, Texomans are responding.

"My parents personally were immigrants and they struggled to come to this country, and I was like, no I want to make a change," Sherman High School senior Melissa Alba said, who marched instead of going to school.

Protesters led a march around the Grayson County Courthouse Thursday. Some like Teresa Garza didn't go to work and took her kids out of school.

"We've kind of had it planned of not doing much of anything today, just cause we stand up for immigrants, and their rights," Garza said.

Sherman ISD said about 1000 students missed, about 400 more than normal. With flu season in full swing, it is unknown whether those kids were sick or boycotting.

SISD Assistant Superintendent Tamy Smalskas said as long as the parents give permission for the absence, the students won't face any punishment.

"Pretty much all my friends didn't go, probably like 45 or 50," Alba said.

As far as missing work, some closed their businesses in solidarity, but others in the area were forced to close without enough workers.

"A lot of businesses closing here, not just here, but in the DFW area as well," Garza said. "The tire shop in Denison I go to, they closed down."

All in hopes of demonstrating the role immigrants play in the U.S.

"Notice how much it will hurt their businesses financially, how it will hurt the economy," Garza said.

"And prove that immigrants do make this country, they are part of this country and they will help them progress as one," Alba said.