PPS Board passes resolution affirming district’s protection of rights of undocumented students
Resolution also outlines plan for training staff for ICE activity at schools
Citing its commitment to providing for the physical safety and emotional well-being of all children in Portland Public Schools, the Board of Education on Thursday, November 17 considered and unanimously passed a resolution that clarified the District’s procedures relating to Immigration Control Enforcement (ICE) activity in PPS schools.
Resolution No. 5363 also directs the Interim Superintendent to develop a plan over the next 90 days for training all necessary PPS staff on how to respond to any ICE personnel requesting information about PPS students and families, or attempting to enter PPS property. By coordinating this effort at the district level, teachers and school staff will be better able to focus on our students’ education. This plan will be communicated to all PPS families in all supported languages. The Superintendent’s plan will also address how to support students whose family members have been displaced because of ICE.
“In the wake of the Presidential election and the heated rhetoric surrounding it, there has been a great deal of worry and concern about family stability and safety throughout our community,” said PPS Board Director Julie Esparza Brown. “We are taking this action today to send a message to all PPS families that regardless of their background or status, this District will do everything it can to protect all kids and their families in our schools.”
The resolution requires:
- ICE personnel to notify the Superintendent and General Counsel, in person, before they can enter PPS property so that steps can be taken to provide for the emotional and physical safety of its students and staff.
- Immigration Control Enforcement (ICE) personnel to provide written authority from the ICE instructing them to enter District property and for what purpose.
- Developing procedures for notifying families about ICE efforts to gain information about students and families
The full text of Resolution No. 5363 is as follows:
RESOLUTION No. 5363 Rights of Undocumented Students and Protocols for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Access to Schools
- The Board of Education for Portland Public Schools is committed to the success of every student in each of our schools. The mission of Portland Public Schools is that by the end of elementary, middle, and high school, every student by name will meet or exceed academic standards and will be fully prepared to make productive life decisions. We believe that every student has the potential to achieve, and it is the responsibility of our school district to give each student the opportunity and support to meet his or her highest potential.
- The Board believes that the physical safety and emotional well-being of all children in the District, and ensuring that our schools are safe and inviting for all students and their families is paramount to students being able to achieve. PPS does not tolerate any form of discrimination, harassment or bullying (4.30.060-P Anti-Harassment Policy).
- This safe and inviting environment would be disrupted by the presence of ICE Officers who come on to PPS property for the purposes of removing students or their family members, or obtaining information about students and their families.
- The Board further believes that our students’ ability to achieve is negatively impacted by the removal of their family members during ICE raids that leave students without supervising adults to care for them, and that the District should have in place policies and procedures to protect and care for such students until a guardian or other designated adult is contacted, and that all teachers, administrators and staff should be trained on such procedures.
- Any ICE Officer intending to enter any Portland Public Schools property must first notify the Superintendent and the District’s General Counsel, in person, of its intention, with adequate notice so that the Superintendent and General Counsel can take steps to provide for the emotional and physical safety of its students and staff.
- The Superintendent and/or General Counsel are authorized to ask for the ICE agent’s credentials, ask why he or she is requesting access, and the legal validity of their request.
- ICE Officers must provide written authority from the ICE instructing them to enter District property and for what purpose.
- Portland Public Schools staff shall not ask about a student’s immigration status or that of the student’s family members, and pursuant to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and relevant law, shall not disclose, without parental consent, the immigration status of any PPS student or personal information.
- Within the next 90 days the Superintendent shall develop a plan for training teachers, administrators and other staff on how to respond to ICE personnel who are requesting information about PPS students and families and/or attempting to enter PPS property. The plan shall also include procedures for notifying families about ICE efforts to gain information about students and families, and how to support students whose family members have been displaced because of ICE. This plan shall be communicated to all PPS families in all supported languages.