Two young girls were almost taken from their mother after Taco Bell employees discovered them using the fast-food restaurant’s Wi-Fi for school. The viral photo shows employees at a Taco Bell in Salinas, California, attempting to talk to the two girls as they’re sitting outside with their homework and laptops.
The photo sparked concern over the children’s lack of resources and the digital inaccessibility in lower-income communities.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León tweeted the photo and called out the digital divide in California.
“This is California, home to Silicon Valley…but where the digital divide is as deep as ever,” León said. “Where 40% of all Latinos don’t have internet access. This generation deserves better.”
While some were alarmed by the kids’ lack of resources, some were concerned over the children’s well-being. Child Protective Services conducted a welfare check but found no signs of neglect or abuse.
After hearing that the family couldn’t pay rent, local community members stepped in and put the family in a hotel before launching a GoFundMe. Salinas City Elementary School District, where the two girls are students, said it’s working to supply internet hotspots.