Dozens of California Students, Parents Stuck in Afghanistan

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
August 25, 2021 Updated: August 25, 2021

At least 24 students from southern California are stuck in Afghanistan, officials said this week.

The students, as well as some parents, are stranded in the Central Asian country after going there for a summer trip, a spokesman for the Cajon Valley Union School District confirmed via email to The Epoch Times.

The group was visiting relatives in Afghanistan when they found themselves stranded after the Taliban took over the country in mid-August. Parents started asking district officials to hold their children’s spots in their schools, prompting the district to start making a list of all the students known to be in the country.

The spokesman declined to share how many students and parents are stranded, but Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who has been working to get them home, said there are at least 24.

“I’m working diligently to determine the best ways to help those trapped return home safely. I won’t stop until we have answers and action,” Issa wrote on Twitter.

Issa’s office has been “incredibly supportive in the attempt to bring these families home,” the district spokesman said.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 parents are also stuck in Afghanistan.

Cajon Valley school board president Tamara Otero told the paper that the families had tickets to leave the country but weren’t able to make it to the U.S.-held airport in Kabul.

“The biggest concern is that the Taliban closed the airport,” Otero said. “It’s killing us right now. We are so worried about our students that are stuck there. We’ll do the best we can to get them out.”

The Pentagon has no information about the California students and parents, a spokesman told reporters in Washington on Wednesday afternoon.

The airport is the only ground U.S. troops control after the Taliban terrorist group rapidly took over the country when the United States withdrew many troops earlier this month.

A number of Americans have reported being blocked from reaching the airport gates, which often requires navigating Taliban checkpoints and large crowds.

Thousands of Afghans are trying to leave the country before the United States fully withdraws. The withdrawal is set to culminate as of now on Aug. 31.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.