Sylvania Southview holds 'rally for refugees'


    Rally for Refugees held at Sylvania Southview (WNWO).

    TOLEDO, OH. (WNWO) -- There are still many Americans unconvinced of the president's intentions. Protests and rallies against him are being planned by the second.

    One held at Sylvania Southview High School on Wednesday, however, was not focused on President Trump, himself.

    More than 100 people came out to show their support for the over 200 refugees who have resettled in the Toledo area since 2015. People were asked to refrain from bringing political signs because organizers say, this is a protest for unity.

    "I want the ban undone,” says Susan Matz, who lives in Sylvania. “I want us to be able to accept refugees that are seeking freedom from persecution."

    Community leaders and teachers at Sylvania Southview gathered to show their support for refugees - after President Trump issued an executive order on Friday immediately enforcing a travel ban on refugees for 120 days.

    Those at the rally say Sylvania is a community of tolerance and love.

    "Sylvania Southview is a welcoming environment,” says junior student at Southview High School, Jordan Topoleski. “The whole Sylvania community loves everybody, regardless of race, regardless of gender, regardless of any factors that set us apart. We are all united together."

    "Refugee families that we serve are being split up and we don't have all the answers for them,” says Shane Lakatos, who is a case manager and outreach director at SSFAC. “But we can tell them that we love them."

    When these children arrived seven months ago from Syria, they could not speak English. But now...

    "You like to read?”I asked.

    “Yeah,” says one refugee.

    “What's your favorite subject?” I ask another child.

    “Math," he says.

    "I like America because you get to learn stuff here and I really like the schools,” says another refugee from Syria.

    "These are my clients and I feel like when they come to me, they're like my kid sometimes. There's no difference,” says Lakatos. “They’re kids. They didn't ask for anything that happened to them to happen to them. And are we going to love them or are we going to shoo them away?"

    Again, the ban has been in effect since it was announced on Friday. Refugees who were scheduled to arrive in Toledo this week have all been cancelled.

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