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Dozens Of California Students And Parents On A Summer Trip To Afghanistan Are Reportedly Stranded

Brittany Jordan

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  • Dozens of California students and parents are reportedly stranded in Afghanistan after visiting the country on a summer vacation, the Los Angeles Times reported.
  • At least 24 students and 16 parents from a school district in El Cajon, California, traveled to the country on a summer trip and are now waiting to leave along with thousands of others following Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban, the LA Times reported. The students are reportedly from different schools within the district in eastern San Diego County.
  • Parents of students reached out to two liaisons of the FACE program “to hold their children’s spots in their classrooms while they were stranded in Afghanistan,” according to a media release from the school district obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Dozens of California students and parents are reportedly stranded in Afghanistan after visiting the country on a summer vacation, the Los Angeles Times reported.

At least 24 students and 16 parents from a school district in El Cajon, California, traveled to the country on a summer trip and are now waiting to leave along with thousands of others following Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban, the LA Times reported. The students are reportedly from different schools within the district in eastern San Diego County.

The superintendent of the Cajon Valley Union School District, David Miyashiro, said the families went to Afghanistan using special visas for U.S. military service, are considered allies by the Department of Defense and that the district has given government officials information to help them locate the stranded American travelers, the LA Times reported.

Mike Serban, is the head of the Family and Children Engagement (FACE) program and works with refugee families in the school district, was the first to find out about the stranded students and parents, the LA Times reported. He said he heard from families that they were worried their kids might lose their spots in school, so he reached out to Miyashiro about their concerns.

“Students and their parents who traveled to Afghanistan this summer to visit their extended family reached out to their community liaisons for assistance when the crisis in Afghanistan started,” the district’s release said.

Students’ parents reached out to FACE program liaisons asking “to hold their children’s spots in their classrooms while they were stranded in Afghanistan,” according to a media release from the school district obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“The Cajon Valley Union School District Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Office that supports a global community of families has been in direct contact with their families and students stranded in Afghanistan,” the release said.

Miyashiro told school board members on Tuesday that he planned to meet with California Democratic Rep. Darrell Issa about the situation, the LA Times reported.

Taliban fighters stand guard along a road near the site of an Ashura procession which is held to mark the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, along a road in Herat on August 19, 2021, amid the Taliban’s military takeover of Afghanistan. (Photo by AREF KARIMI/AFP via Getty Images)

“Congressman Issa and his staff are working diligently to determine the facts on the ground, any bureaucratic barriers that can be removed, and the best ways to help those stranded leave Afghanistan and return home safely,” Issa spokesman Jonathan Wilcox told the the LA Times. “We won’t stop until we have answers and action.”

Cajon Valley School Board member Jo Alegria said the families had plans to be back for the start of the school year on Aug. 17, but were unable to get on their scheduled flights back to the U.S., the LA Times reported. She said the district was helping students and parents get proper documentation to bring them home. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Biden Predicts Taliban Takeover In Afghanistan Is ‘Not Inevitable)

“The biggest concern is that the Taliban closed the airport,” Cajon Valley School Board President Tamara Otero told the LA Times. “We are so worried about our students that are stuck there. We’ll do the best we can to get them out.”

Serban and Issa did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation. 

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Brittany Jordan is an award-winning journalist who reports on breaking news in the U.S. and globally for the Federal Inquirer. Prior to her position at the Federal Inquirer, she was a general assignment features reporter for Newsweek, where she wrote about technology, politics, government news and important global events around the world. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Toronto Star, Frederick News-Post, West Hawaii Today, the Miami Herald, and more. Brittany enjoys food, travel, photography, and hoarding notebooks and journals. Her goal is to do more longform features journalism, narrative writing and documentary work, and to one day write a successful novel and screenplay.

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