To quell rising anxieties over immigration enforcement and deportation, Superintendent Cindy Marten this week sent a letter to San Diego Unified parents, assuring them that immigration agents wouldn’t be allowed to conduct raids on school campuses.
“The district believes that the presence of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is likely to lead to a disruption of the educational setting,” Marten wrote in the letter. “Therefore, the district will not permit immigration raids or other activities on campus that disturb the school setting.”
The letter follows a resolution the district passed in December, which affirmed the district’s commitment to making sure that schools are safe spaces for all students. In keeping with guidance from Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent, school districts up and down the state have passed similar resolutions.
The resolutions roundly state that school districts welcome students, regardless of religion, origin or immigration status.
But what do they really mean, and how far do the protections actually extend?
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"Later that week, in a resolution put forward by San Diego Unified Trustee Richard Barrera, the school board welcomed (and simultaneously bashed) DeVos. But before the board could approve the invitation at the following board meeting, word reached Lindsay Burningham, president of the local teachers union. She said she and her members were not on board.
The school board moved quickly to withdraw the invitation"
Talk about the tail waging the dog.
The adversarial response to DeVos at this juncture is a mistake.
I teach for a college district that has passed a similar policy in support of our students, in response to recent proposals over immigration.
But serious question: how can anyone still wonder why students in certain schools and neighborhoods continue to struggle scholastically with all of these proposed and actual changes taking place?
Imagine trying to focus on basic studies, let alone enrichment activities, with deportation fears over your head, or threat of deportation of your parents and other family members. Same for homelessness, abuse, violence, harassment, bullying... all things that disproportionately impact these neighborhoods
This applies to all residents, but especially students, teachers, counselors, administrators, parents and others who work in education. IOW- the entire chain of people who are so essential for supporting a child's learning experience, and providing a safe place at home as well as school, offering guidance and mentoring as well as basic instruction.
This is why it's so important for San Diego to challenge the Trump administration on these immigration issues: they put a large part of our community in jeopardy of ever having a chance at achieving the "American Dream" that has brought so many people to our country.