Free at last, pastor welcomed in GG

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EDITOR'S NOTE: In the photo that goes with this story, Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh is second from left.

He was held prisoner in Vietnam for 11 years.

Now, free, Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh has brought his family to Garden Grove.

And the Garden Grove Unified School District is helping his five children get started in district schools.

EDITOR'S NOTE: In the photo that goes with this story, Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh is second from left.

He was held prisoner in Vietnam for 11 years.

Now, free, Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh has brought his family to Garden Grove.

And the Garden Grove Unified School District is helping his five children get started in district schools.

School Board President Lan Nguyen, Trustee Teri Rocco, and district administrators hosted a special meeting recently to welcome Pastor Chính, a Vietnamese prisoner of conscience, after his release from a prison in Vietnam.

Chính is a Protestant pastor as well as an activist for religious freedom, human rights, and democracy.  During his imprisonment, he and his family were subject to torture and abuse by the Communist regime in Vietnam, he said.

District administrators met with Pastor Chính, his wife, and five children, who are enrolled in Garden Grove Unified School District elementary, intermediate and high schools. The meeting was arranged to ensure the family is connected to all of the resources the district offers to help students and families succeed.

“We are truly honored to welcome Pastor Chính and his family to our country and our school district,” said Nguyen.  “GGUSD is committed to meeting the needs of our students, and ensuring they know our schools are safe places.”

The district recently opened a Family Resource Center, which will provide an array of resources in areas like health care, homeless education assistance, immigration, legal advocacy, and mental health counseling.

It will be staffed by community liaisons that speak multiple languages and are trained on serving the district’s diverse student population.