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Bay Area school districts respond to President Trump's orders on immigration enforcement

CC Flickr user Kim Unertl, resized and cropped
Mission High School landmark plaque

Many students, parents, staffers, and administrators associated with schools throughout the Bay Area have expressed concerns about how President Trump’s executive order to increase enforcement of federal immigration laws may affect undocumented students.

Several districts already had resolutions in place. Here is a partial list:

— The Santa Clara Unified School District Board of Trustees passed the Safe Environments for Students resolution on December 8, 2016, in which it reaffirms that SCUSD campuses would continue to serve as safe zones and resource centers for students and families threatened by immigration enforcement or discrimination.

— The San Mateo-Foster City School District signed a resolution on January 19, 2017, in which it made its support of undocumented students and families clear by resolving not to collect information regarding students’ and families immigration status, not to release information or pupil records to federal agencies or authorities without a court order, and to take all legally permissible actions to protect the privacy rights of its students and families. A district spokesperson says they will be reminding families of their commitment and this resolution in a newsletter that they will be distributing soon.

— In Marin County, which is made up of 19 districts, the Board of Education has not only passed a resolution that preserves the protections of immigrant families and affirms the right of undocumented children to a public education, but it has also made a point to continue to update a page on its website to ensure that families stay informed. The district will also be hosting a workshop on February 15, 2017, in partnership with Canal Alliance and 10,000 Degrees, at which two experts in immigration law will provide legal context and resources to those interested.

— The San Francisco Unified School District has also responded, calling families to let them know that district staff will not cooperate with any official seeking information about a child without a court order.

Here's a transcript of the voicemail shared with district families:

"This is a message for SFUSD family and students. You may have concerns that President Trump is calling for increased enforcement of federal immigration laws. We want to assure you that Mr. Trump's executive order does not have any effect on how we respond to our students' rights in San Francisco Public Schools. There are existing laws that help keep your children safe while at school regardless of their immigration status, and SFUSD staff will not cooperate with any official seeking information about your child unless they have a court order. If you are an SFUSD parent and have questions or concerns, you may call the Office of Family Voice at 415-241-6150."

— Contra Costa County is made up of 18 school districts. Policies may vary between districts. Terry Koehne, the Chief Communications Officer at Contra Costa County Office of Education says that while neither their board or office has taken a formal position on becoming a sanctuary community, they had prepared a post-election toolkit for those districts and communities that may want to move in that direction.