Protesters sat quietly during the Horry County school board meeting Monday, some holding signs protesting recent comments attributed to Chairman Joe DeFeo.
Television station WMBF quoted DeFeo on May 31 as saying that undocumented students should not be allowed to use tax dollars to go to school.
“Today we came out here because we’re concerned about some of the comments made by the school board chairman about the legal status of our students... ,” said Lindsey Marie with political action group Grand Strand Action Together. “They all just kind of created a bit of a perfect storm and we wanted to come out and let him know that he does have constituents that don’t agree with what he’s saying.”
DeFeo on Monday said he was referring to contradictory federal laws and had no problem with undocumented immigrants going to school.
“I don’t know how much of the quote went into the paper,” said DeFeo, referencing the WMBF report. “But I said that I think federal law should be changed to allow these people to be here legally. The problem is that you can’t pick and choose your laws.
“Nobody has stopped anybody from going to school,” he said. “This is about what’s legal and not legal. This is not about trying to get anybody out of the school. The law says they can go to school.”
Marie said that DeFeo’s comments on Monday were “new information” to her.
“I think it’s promising if that’s actually the truth,” Marie said. “It sounded like his opinion was (a) little bit more positive than it had been in the past, which is good because I don’t think children should be negatively affected by things that they have no control over.”