Alabama State Department of Education figures revealed that 5,143 Hispanic students missed school Wednesday, and Education spokeswoman Malissa Valdes drew an obvious conclusion:
"Our view is that it could potentially be due to the boycott," Valdes said after a state Board of Education meeting Thursday.
Hispanic workers throughout the state stayed home from work or kept businesses they own closed for the day to protest the state's new illegal-immigration law.
The Department of Education gets daily attendance records for specific groups of students as part of its documentation for federal funding. Wednesday's absentee total was much higher than average.
On Monday, 1,226 Hispanic students were absent from school statewide; on Tuesday, the figure was 1,286.
Gov. Robert Bentley said he is sad for the children.
"I wish they would realize that schools are not arms of law enforcement and that it is safe for them to go," he said.
Later, at the board's two-year college system monthly work session, Bentley praised the workforce preparedness courses and certificate programs that colleges offer.
As the state works with employers trying to fill gaps left by an exodus of Hispanic workers, Bentley said, the classes will be even more important. Two-year colleges continue to play an important role in worker preparation, Bentley said, citing Wrangler's decision to rebuild its Hackleburg plant.
"We were able to save Wrangler for Hackleburg. Without it, that town wouldn't exist anymore," Bentley said.
Most Popular Stories
- SEO Traffic Lab Celebrate Wins at Digital Marketing Event 'Internet World 2013' in London
- Social Media Initiatives Should Follow Customers' Lead
- Apple CEO: Offshore Units Not a 'Tax Gimmick'
- U.S. Senate Accuses Apple of Large-scale Tax Avoidance
- UTEP Water Recycling Project Wins Venture Titles
- Marketo Makes a Mint in IPO: Stock Shoots Up More than 50 Percent
- Bieber Booed at Billboard Awards
- Crude Oil Up, Gasoline Down
- Austin Startup Compare Metrics Raises $3.5 Million for Expansion
- Why So Many Top 'Car Guys' Are Actually Women