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School Board to discuss “safe haven” resolution

Posted on February 26, 2017 by Sonoma Valley Sun

At its meeting of Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 6:30 p.m, in Altamira Middle School Library, the Sonoma Valley School District Board of Trustees will consider the a Draft Resolution for Safe Schools. The resolution is titled:

“ A RESOLUTION IN RECOGNITION OF A COMMITMENT TO SAFE SCHOOLS, HONORING THE CIVIL RIGHTS AND DIGNITY OF ALL PEOPLE”.

The language of the resolution is as follows:

“WHEREAS, the Sonoma Valley Unified School District (“SVUSD”) Board of Trustees is committed to the success of all students without regard to their immigration status, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, sex and gender identity, socio-economic status or ideological beliefs;

WHEREAS, the SVUSD embraces the diversity of our students and families and the rich language and cultural assets they bring to SVUSD, and strongly supports and encourages the participation of all parents and families in our schools;

WHEREAS, all persons in this nation, documented and undocumented, have rights under the U.S. Constitution, and there is safety in knowing what those rights are and knowing how to be prepared to exercise those rights;

WHEREAS, in 1982 the United States Supreme Court held in Plyler v. Doe that no public school district can deny children access to education based on their immigration status, emphasizing that children have little control over their immigration status and that children and society would both be harmed if access to public schools were to be denied;

WHEREAS, state and federal laws prohibit educational agencies from disclosing personally identifiable student information to law enforcement without the consent of a parent or guardian, a court order, lawful subpoena or warrant, or in the case of a health and/or safety emergency;

WHEREAS, reports of potential raids by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) office have caused members of our community to experience increased levels of concern and fear;

WHEREAS, the presence of ICE in and around schools would likely cause decreased attendance and a severe disruption to the learning environment and the educational setting for students and families;

WHEREAS, beginning during the 2016 election cycle and continuing since the November election, youth, families and educators within SVUSD have reported increased levels of hate speech, taunting, or bullying based on immigration status, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, sex and gender identity, socio-economic status or ideological beliefs;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Board of Trustees declares its unequivocal commitment that every SVUSD site shall be a safe and welcoming place for all students and their families, to better enable those students to receive a quality education;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Board of Trustees directs the Superintendent to increase and enhance partnerships with community-based and legal services organizations who provide resources for families facing deportation;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, any request by ICE for information or to access a school site shall be immediately forwarded to the Superintendent, who in consultation with SVUSD legal counsel, shall determine whether to allow access to the school site, and/or the information to ensure SVUSD’s compliance with Plyler v. Doe and any other applicable state or federal laws;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Superintendent shall emphasize with school sites the restrictions imposed on sharing student information that may be used to ascertain the immigration status of students or their family members;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Board of Trustees reaffirms its focus on promoting and elevating tolerance, inclusiveness and kindness toward all students and families at all district school sites, facilities and material property;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Superintendent, within ninety days of the approval of this resolution, shall prepare an implementation plan defining partnerships with community organizations, and training and support for school site employees who are assisting students who feel unsafe at school or who are impacted by immigration enforcement;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Superintendent shall ensure that there are unifying activities occurring within SVUSD to support diversity, inclusion, tolerance and acceptance;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Board of Trustees instructs the Superintendent to send a copy of this resolution to the Superintendent, Sonoma County Office of Education, and all representatives for the Sonoma Valley area currently serving in either the state legislature or in Congress;

LASTLY, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this Resolution, translated into all appropriate languages, shall be distributed to all school sites, which are hereby directed to comply with the general guidelines and principles outlined herein.”

This is a special meeting, open to the public. 

 

 



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