Popular childhood magazine, Highlights, stands up for immigrant families

The magazine's CEO said he had to speak up for immigrant families because "children are the world's most important people."

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/ Source: TODAY
By Meghan Holohan

As more details emerged about the conditions immigrant children are experiencing at border detention centers, many people felt they could not remain silent about it. While politicians, activists, parents and celebrities spoke against the unsanitary and unsafe practices, some recent comments came from what many consider an unlikely source — Highlights Magazine.

"This is not a political statement about immigration policy. This is a statement about human decency, plain and simple. This is a plea for the recognition that these are not simply the children of strangers for whom others are accountable. This is an appeal to elevate the inalienable rights of all children to feel safe and have the opportunity to become their best selves," the statement from Kent Johnson, CEO of Highlights for Children, reads.

"We invite you — regardless of your political leanings — to join us in speaking out against family separation and to call for more humane treatment of immigrant children currently being helped in detention facilities."

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The statement published on June 25 has been liked nearly 60,000 times on Twitter and shared 8,000 times on Facebook. It ends with a reminder of the role adults play in children's lives.

"Let our children draw strength and inspiration from our collective display of moral courage. They are watching."

Many people expressed their support of the organization's words and call to action.

"I can hear echos of Mr. Rogers in your words. Thank you for championing children — ALL children," one woman on Facebook shared.

Others felt pleased that something they loved during their childhood showed it consistently cared about the wellbeing of children.

"I grew up with Highlights magazine. Thank you for putting children first. Thank you for taking the stand everyone MUST take at this time and being a moral voice for these children," a woman on Twitter shared.

Still others say that Johnson is behaving like one of Highlight's most popular characters, Gallant, of the comic "Goofus and Gallant." Unsurprisingly, Gallant acts morally while Goofus is kind of a jerk.

"This is very Gallant," a woman on Twitter said.