Model “Safe Haven” School Board Resolution

With the help of our friends at Being Black At School, and Colin McGinnis in particular, we’ve pulled together the strongest language to protect students we could find in many resolutions passed thus far. It’s meant to be comprehensive, so tailor it to fit what your community has already done or plans to do.

Steps to take:

1. Have the school board agendize and vote on it.

2. Bring supporters to speak at public comment at your next school board meeting.

3. Schedule follow-up meetings to discuss how community, parents, teachers/staff, and students can all work together on implementation checklists.

No Wall No Ban Resolutionv1.0

CA Ed Code Does Not Require Social Security Numbers For Students To Enroll

Please note — civil rights groups have filed a request with the California State Attorney General to halt the practice of collecting Social Security Numbers as part of the enrollment process. This false “requirement” is subtly deterring many undocumented children from pursuing their educations as protected by law. Some districts even ask for location of birth, birth certificate information, or time of length at address — all of which are unnecessary and not required for school registration.

It’s come to light that a number of school districts are  doing this in violation of California Ed Code:

No legitimate purpose can be articulated for requiring a social security number at enrollment as Educ. Code §49076.7(b) expressly provides that: “A school district, county office of education, or charter school shall not collect or solicit social security numbers or the last four digits of social security numbers from pupils or their parents or guardians unless otherwise required to do so by state or federal law.” There simply is no state or federal statute or regulation that requires collection of this information for enrollment. Therefore, districts that do so violate this Education Code section.

 

See the attached lengthy complaint filed with Attorney General Xavier Bacerra, March 27, 2017. Check to see if your school district is in violation. If so, contact them and have them remove those fields from forms incoming families fill out and ask school districts to do a data purge of those fields for all students for whom that information is already collected.

BecerraResCmplnt

 

For Principals and School District Staff: Undocumented Youth and Juvenile Justice

School administrators are often confused as to the degree of cooperation between the juvenile justice system and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). With good reason. Practices vary by state and local laws, and in the absence of any laws, the treatment of undocumented youth by juvenile justice systems can often be so unclear it varies by probation officer.

The following piece from the Anne E. Casy Foundation 2014 highlights this information and provides guidelines for beginning your own research into state and municipal laws governing city/state cooperation with ICE. These principles might be good to keep in mind:

  • — minimize unnecessary detention or separation of noncitizen youth from their families and communities;
  • — ensure that detention practices do not unfairly prejudice noncitizen youth;
  • — promote responses aimed at rehabilitation and reintegration;
  • minimize the unnecessary and often devastating immigration                — consequences for noncitizen youth of their involvement in the juvenile justice system; and
  • — preserve the ability of noncitizen youth to pursue immigration relief to which they may be entitled under federal law.
aecf-NoncitizenYouthintheJJSystem-2014

You Passed the Safe Haven Resolution, Now What?

It’s a cause for joy that more and more school districts are taking active steps to declare to families that they are safe havens and affirm that all students will be welcome and sheltered from whatever hostilities the Trump administration can sling at them. (We’ve always known that many of our students are not safe even before this administration came to power:  ones caught up in the Obama administration’s deportation grind or in the school-to-prison pipeline or told every day their lives are lesser, LGBTQIA or special needs students pushed out from schools.) But once you delve deeper into ICE raids and see how the fear continues to plague many mixed status families, you realize that the devil’s in the details.

Here are four checklists to ensure that the details of school policy actually address safety for students and their families. Give extra attention to school dropoff and pickup. We’re always updating these so if you find actions that are helpful to add, please send us those tips here.

Families

SAFE HAVEN SCHOOLS- Training Families

Teachers

SAFE HAVEN SCHOOLS Training Teachers

Staff

SAFE HAVEN SCHOOLS Training Staff Intake

Principals

SAFE HAVEN SCHOOLS Principals

Washington State Schools: ICE Contingency Plans

Reposted with permission from Dr. Wayne Au, professor of education at UW-Bothell.

Recently I’ve had multiple conversations with teachers about concrete actions that K-12 schools and communities need to be thinking about for if/when ICE comes after our children (and I think it is more a question of “when” not “if,” at this point). This is not meant to be total or exhaustive, and additions are welcome. These are also not in any particular order.

1. Make sure there is a policy in place that all office staff must immediately report that ICE has arrived – report to the administration, the parents, and perhaps the students. Maybe even as a public announcement to warn EVERYBODY on campus.

2. Teachers, we need to get your/our colleagues to make commitments regarding their level of involvement should ICE show up. Some of us/them are willing to put their bodies on the line and physically protect our kids. Some are not. But maybe a colleague who won’t put their body down is willing/able to cover your class for you when ICE comes. That level of support is important too.

3. Neighborhood parents, we should be networking with other parents to figure out and make plans of who among you/us would immediately come down to school and form a blockade, if necessary, to protect our kids. We also need to figure out whom among us is at least willing to come down and provide witness and report what is happening (which is also an important role).

4. Parents/Teachers/Administrators, we could set up a system of “temporary custody” such that, if ICE shows up, a child could be passed along (or snuck out) to some trusted parents or adults in order to hide them from ICE, or in the case that the child’s parents can’t come to school because they themselves need to stay away from ICE.

5. Teachers/Administrators, we should also be doing curriculum around immigration and immigrants’ rights, creating spaces for kids to process their fears and build relationships with each other, as well as critically analyzing media, government, and policy on this issue.

6. Teachers/Parents/Administrator, we should be creating spaces for community conversation around this, which also means sharing resources with each other (e.g., where to find legal support). So getting local and regional immigrants’ rights organizations to present at our schools should be a priority right now.

7. District and school administrators, even if you are not willing to be radical enough to block ICE, you can at least push for policy that creates a “process” for ICE to follow so that it buys kids, parents, and communities more time and distance to get away. For instance, while the Seattle Schools Policy that has come from our superintendent is not super radical, it at least says, “send them downtown to our legal office” – which buys time (I say this knowing the ICE may not care about district policy…).

8. Many have been talking about doing a school lock-down if ICE shows up. This means that no one is allowed in or out of the building. This could be effective and is worth exploring. One downside that was raised was that it would also allow ICE to muster more forces and jump through whatever hoops they need to jump through, all while keeping their targets in one place.

Again, these are just some beginning thoughts on how we might be better prepared if/when ICE comes to our schools. Please feel free to share and add.