24 California students, 16 parents stranded in Afghanistan after summer vacations

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    A total of 40 California students and parents are currently stranded in Afghanistan after traveling to the country over the summer, according to a school district and local reports.

    “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,” Howard Shen, a spokesperson for the Cajon Valley Union School District, told Fox News in a statement.

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    One family spending time abroad in the country directly reached out to the Cajon Valley Union School District’s Family and Community Liaisons program on Aug. 16 asking that the district “hold their spot at their local school,” the statement added.

    The Los Angeles Times first reported that 24 students and 16 parents were stuck in the country as thousands of Americans and U.S. allies flee the country before the U.S. military completes a complete withdrawal by Aug. 31. The Taliban has assumed control over the majority of the country in recent weeks.

    Hundreds of people gather near a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane at the perimeter of the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Shekib Rahmani)

    Hundreds of people gather near a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane at the perimeter of the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Shekib Rahmani)

    Cajon Valley School Board President Tamara Otero told the Times that the students and parents had already booked their plane tickets but could not “get to the airport.”

    Superintendent David Miyashiro notified the school board on Tuesday of the district’s efforts to help students and families with Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the Times reported. Miyashiro told the outlet that the students and parents were traveling with special U.S. military visas. 

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    Shen added that “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” in an effort to “hold their children’s spots in classrooms.” The district has 16 community liaisons in total.

    “Mike Serban, Director of the FACE Office, began gathering a comprehensive list of all Cajon Valley Students known to be in Afghanistan,” he continued. “They have been working with Congressman Issa’s office, who have been incredibly supportive in the attempt to bring these families home. The East County San Diego community and district staff continue to send positive thoughts and well wishes to all of our families as we await their safe return.”

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    Issa in a Wednesday tweet that he is “working diligently to determine the best ways to help those trapped return home safely.”

    “I won’t stop until we have answers and action,” he said. 



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