LAUSD urges students not to join 'Day without Immigrants' protests

The Los Angeles Unified School District is urging students not to join in any walkouts or demonstrations planned Thursday as part of a national ``Day without Immigrants'' being marked across the country.

``A Day Without Immigrants'' actions are planned in Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and other cities with large immigrant populations, with activists urging immigrants to avoid work and shopping, effectively withdrawing from the economy for a day to dramatize the roles they play in American society.

``While we respect everyone's right to have their voices heard and to participate in civic action such as protest, all students and staff are encouraged and expected to come to school,'' Alma Pena-Sanchez, the LAUSD's chief of staff, told parents and employees Wednesday night in a voicemail.

The LAUSD, the nation's second-largest school district, is 74 percent Latino. Pena-Sanchez said the district's campuses offer a ``safe and productive forum where students can express their thoughts and feelings.''

``I urge students and staff not to disrupt learning by participating in protest or walkouts during the instructional day,'' she said.

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