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Nearly two dozen Cajon Valley students stranded in Afghanistan

Posted at 5:57 AM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 08:57:32-04

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) -- As the U.S. government works to safely evacuate thousands from Afghanistan, the Cajon Valley Union School District is hoping 23 of their students will soon be back in the classroom.

District officials told ABC 10News they were notified last week about some of their students stranded in Afghanistan, hoping to safely make their way back home. The students were with their families for summer break visiting extended family members.

The district was notified that the families couldn't make it back home through its community liaisons when the families reached out to ask if the district could hold the spots in school for their children.

The district says the families had plans to head back home for the start of the school year. They reportedly had flights and were going to the airport when chaos erupted in the nation's capital of Kabul.

According to the district, one of their community liaisons has already made contact with a state official to help bring the families home. In a statement, the district said:

"On August 16th, the day before school started in the Cajon Valley Union School District, one family reached out to Fraidoon and Mohammad, Family and Community Liaisons for the Cajon Valley Union School District, to please hold their spot at their local school. 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.

The FACE Office has been recognized by the California Department of Education, National School Board Association, and other global organizations for building powerful relationships with their families. The FACE Department employs 16 Community Liaisons whose main focus is building relationships that positively impact students’ academic and social-emotional outcomes so that every child is happy, in healthy relationships, and on a path to gainful employment.

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. They asked Fraidoon and Mohammad, Cajon Valley Community Liaisons, to hold their children’s spots in their classrooms while they were stranded in Afghanistan. Mike Serban, Director of the FACE Office, began gathering a comprehensive list of all Cajon Valley Students known to be in Afghanistan. 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. The Cajon Valley Union School District - many cultures, one community."

So far there is no word on when they'll make it back, but district officials say the kids are safe.