SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Weeks after the U.S. military evacuation from Afghanistan, the Sacramento City Unified School District reports at least eight of its students are still in the country.
“We are very concerned for the safety of our Sac City Unified students who are still in Afghanistan,” said Superintendent Jorge A. Aguilar in a statement. “This situation is harrowing as each day these students remain in a Taliban-occupied country is another day that their lives are in grave danger."
Aguilar says the school district is working with the state's congressional representatives to help the families and that the district is in contact with them. According to the district, the families said they were unable to get aboard or were turned away from evacuation flights. SCUSD added that some of the families were near the blast at the Kabul airport. As to why the families were in the country, the district wrote the families had traveled to the country "for various reasons, including visiting family members who were seriously ill."
“I am deeply concerned that many of our Sacramento County students have not been able to safely leave Afghanistan,” said Rep. Ami Bera in a statement. “My office has been in close contact with Sacramento-area school districts and have elevated the students’ cases with the highest levels of the U.S. government, including the Department of State and Department of Defense."
SCUSD said many of the students who are in Afghanistan are reported to be American citizens and legal residents of the United States. Read the full news release from the school district here.
“As a parent and grandparent, the safety, privacy and return of the students is of utmost importance,” said Rep. Doris Matsui in a statement. “We are in communication with families regularly and continue to fiercely advocate daily on their behalf in our communications with the Department of State and federal partners."
Earlier this month, ABC10 reported 27 students, from 19 families, from the San Juan Unified School District were believed to still be in Afghanistan. Also in August, ABC10 reported that nearly two dozen students from El Cajon were stuck in Afghanistan.
Roughly 120,000 Afghans, Americans, and other allies were extracted. The last U.S. Air Force evacuation flight from Kabul airport departed Aug. 30, marking the end of a frantic effort to get Americans, Afghans, and others out who were desperate to escape the Taliban's return to power 20 years after they were ousted in a U.S.-led invasion. More than 2,400 Americans lost their lives in the long war.
Watch more ABC10: Two children who went missing in August still haven't been found