High School Assistant Principal in Rhode Island Asks Teachers to Raise Funds to Pay Smuggler to Traffic Student Over Mexican Border

A Rhode Island high school’s assistant principal allegedly sent out an email asking staff to send donations to pay a human smuggling cartel for trafficking a student over the Mexican border.

‘Coyote’ fees are paid to people who help sneak immigrants into the United States to match the risk of illegally entering the country.

Stefani Harvey, the assistant principal at Mount Pleasant High School in Providence, sent an email obtained by reporters Thursday asking for donations for the student’s ‘coyotes,’ who she claimed are ‘a group that helps people.’

There was some dispute as to the veracity of the email – the school told the Daily Caller it was ‘fake’ and said they don’t have a student who is being human trafficked – but it appears to have been proven real by both the president of the teachers’ union and the principal, who sent out an email calling it ‘not appropriate.’

Maribeth Calabro, President of the Providence Teachers Union, told WPRO she had confirmed the legitimacy of the email with members who teach at the high school.  

‘I was a little taken aback by the content,’ she said, ‘I engaged the district, I called leadership in the district and I said ‘hi folks, what’s going on here’ and they were aware and they said that when they were made aware they went into immediate investigatory mode and that once the investigation was concluded that there would be correspondence.’

Calabro said that some of her members thought it was a scam to try and trick members out of their social security money and said her members were ‘concerned.’

Tiffany Delaney, Mount Pleasant High School Principal, both confirmed and condemned the email Friday in a letter to staff. 

‘I appreciate the faculty and staff contributing to a cause that supports a student, but the nature of the request is not appropriate,’ she wrote. 

‘All funds contributed will be returned and we will seek more appropriate methods to support our students.’ 

The school has an enrollment of about 1,100 and has enough Spanish-speaking students that it publishes a version of its welcome letter to parents in Spanish.

Mount Pleasant’s mission statement reads: ‘Mount Pleasant High School provides all learners with a meaningful and purposeful education through a wealth of opportunities to be connected to and feel secure within their school community. 

‘They are engaged in high level and rigorous programming to be prepared for college and career success. We celebrate the diversity of our community by validating and supporting students and their interests.’ 

‘Coyotes’ are a high-risk, often high-yield business estimated to generate $6.6 billion a year for smugglers along Latin America’s routes to the U.S., according to a 2010 United Nations report. 

‘Smugglers use lies to lure the vulnerable into a dangerous journey that often ends in removal or death,’ Chris Magnus – then the US CBP Commissioner –  said of the illegal activities in May.