June 8, 2017
From the Desk of Matt Hornbeck

Note from Principal Hornbeck…

Mr. Hornbeck’s Statement Delivered at a Rally on May 25th in Support of HHA Parent Jesus Peraza:

A great President once said, “We are the descendants of people who left other countries to come here to the United States to build a new life to make a new opportunity for themselves and their children.”  When he said those words more than 50 years ago, President Kennedy could not have more accurately described Jesus Peraza and his family. This man, with no record of any kind, has been ripped from his job, his community, and his family because ICE is not following its own stated priorities to remove dangerous illegal aliens.  Mr. Peraza is not dangerous. He wants what we all want, to earn enough money to raise our families and provide more and better opportunities for our children.

I’m Matt Hornbeck and I’m the principal at the school where Mr. Peraza dropped off his son a couple months ago. Something as routine as saying “have a good day at school and listen to your teachers” quickly turned into a nightmare. Mr. Peraza almost immediately knew he was being followed by an unmarked car. I can’t imagine, especially given my race and gender, the fear that must grip anyone who thinks the government is coming after them. When Mr. Peraza was arrested, his son was still in homeroom where the teacher was taking attendance. Mr. Peraza was able to get word to a family member to pick up his son from school that day. It was a grim moment when his son found out what had happened. The young man, a fourth grader who excels at school and has many friends, has had only sporadic contact with his father. It is very hard for him to focus on his studies now.

For hundreds of our Latinx children and their families, and thousands across our City and State, daily routines have been interrupted.  Families are choosing to stay indoors and only go to school and work.  This insane self-protective “house arrest” is a direct result of the fear gripping our community since the new federal administration took over.

As an educator, as a principal, as a father and as a human being, I ask ICE to release Jesus Peraza and return him to his family. Without him, his wife, his children, including a child due in the next week or two, will be deprived of the emotional, financial, and physical security a father and husband provides. enforcement that does nothing but scare our law abiding neighbors, colleagues, friends and family. Stop this shameful and misguided enforcement that does nothing but scare our law abiding neighbors, colleagues, friends and family.

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