State Department official visits Michigan charter school

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) – A U.S. State Department official says a Detroit-area charter school provides a successful model for educating Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Joseph Pennington visited Keys Grace Academy Charter School in Madison Heights. The school has about 400 Middle Eastern children, mainly of Chaldean, Assyrian and Syriac backgrounds from Iraq and Syria.

The Detroit News reports that after touring the school Friday, Pennington spoke to students, some of whom didn’t know the names of the cities they had fled. School officials say many children receive services to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Pennington also addressed questions from members of the local Arab community leaders. Asked about when displaced people could return home safely, Pennington said it will be difficult for the families who return and that stabilization takes decades.

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