Californian students and parents are stuck in Afghanistan, after taking a summer vacation right before Taliban fighters seized control of the presidential palace.
At least 24 Cajon Valley Union School District students and 16 parents are among thousands of Americans waiting to evacuate the Middle Eastern country. They are fleeing a chaotic U.S. withdrawal that arguably led to widespread political unrest.
Cajon Valley Superintendent David Miyashiro revealed the families in question had traveled on special visas for U.S. military service, and the Department of Defense considers them allies. He said the school district provided government officials with information about the families while trying to locate them
Miyashiro informed school district board members via text message on Aug. 24. They will hold a virtual meeting with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Bonsall) to discuss the situation, according to The Hill.
Family and Children Engagement Program Director Mike Serban works with refugee families in the district, and was the first to discover the students’s plight. He confirmed multiple families have expressed concern about students losing their enrolments because they are unable to attend class.
Issa communication director Jonathan Wilcox revealed the Republican and his staff are doing everything they can to assess the situation. They are also considering the best possible ways to help safely evacuate those stranded in Afghanistan.
Cajon Valley School Board President Tamara Otero revealed the students and their families had already bought tickets to fly out of Afghanistan.
“Unfortunately, they were not able to get to the airport,” he said according to the publication. “The biggest concern is that the Taliban closed the airport [and] we are so worried about our students that are stuck there. We will do the best we can to get them out.”
The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan issued a security alert on Aug. 26. Americans trapped in the country are warned not to travel to Hamid Karzai International Airport due to safety concerns.
“Because of security threats outside the gates of Kabul airport, we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time–unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so,” the embassy said in a statement. “U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately.”