International High School in Bowling Green Reacts To Trump Travel Ban

Feb 1, 2017

GEO International students working together.
Credit Adam Hatcher

It’s business as usual at Warren County’s International High School despite the news of President Trump’s travel ban.

Trump issued an executive order last week temporarily banning travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries. Gateway to Educational Opportunities, or GEO, is an International school that is home to students from 25 different countries. More than half of those students are refugees.

Principal Mike Stevenson said students have been surprisingly quiet about the travel ban and they arrived at school Monday and treated it like any other day. Stevens is conscious of the effect the ban could have on international students and their relatives, but says he hasn’t felt the need to address the student body.

Stevens said he’s encouraged by the students' persistent belief in the American dream, and believes the way his students get along can be a model for adults.

“With the diversity this school lives with day to day, from faith to money to gender to color to everything under the sun, it is amazing how well they do with each other,” Stevens said.  

GEO current events teacher Terry Nash has fielded some questions about green cards and how relatives of students might be affected by the travel ban.

“It’s kind of scary to know that there’s a lot of hostility right now towards refugees and immigrants, at least in our political sector, but my job is not to make policy, but to love these kids and put them first,” Nash said.

Nash said it’s tough to answer some of the questions the students have because there is a lot that is still unknown. He said he believes in being honest with them, and helping them find the information that is available.  

GEO works in partnership with Warren Central High School and is Kentucky’s first international high school.