Resolution to Support Our Immigrant, Refugee and Undocumented Students and Families
WHEREAS: The United States Supreme Court held in Plyler v. Doe (1982) that no public school district has a basis to deny children access to education based on their immigration status, citing the harm it would inflict on the child and society itself, and the equal protection rights of the Fourteenth Amendment;
WHEREAS: Ensuring that our schools are safe and supportive for all students and their families will facilitate the physical safety and emotional well-being of all children in the District and is paramount to students’ ability to achieve;
WHEREAS: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) activities in and around schools would be a significant disruption to the safe and supportive learning environment and educational setting for students;
WHEREAS: Immigration enforcement activities around schools create hardships and barriers to health and educational attainment, and a pervasive climate of fear, conflict and stress that affects all students in our District regardless of their background or status, such that children who have a status but whose family members, friends, or schoolmates do not, and students who are themselves undocumented, are all affected and at risk;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Board of the Madison Metropolitan School District hereby declares that every Madison Metropolitan School District site is a safe place for its students and their families to seek help, assistance, and information if faced with fear and anxiety about immigration enforcement efforts;
RESOLVED FURTHER: In order to provide a public education, regardless of a child’s or family member’s immigration status, absent any applicable federal, state or local law, regulation, ordinance or court decision, the District shall abide by the following conduct:
1. District personnel shall not inquire about or record a student’s or a family member’s immigration status, and pursuant to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), shall not disclose, without parental consent, the immigration status of any student or any other personally identifiable information.
2. Any communication to federal agencies or officials initiated by a school or school personnel concerning confidential information about a student or a student’s family member is prohibited, including actual or perceived immigration or citizenship status, unless permission is granted by the student or student’s parent or guardian.
3. The District shall refuse all voluntary information sharing with immigration agents across all aspects of the District to the fullest extent possible under the law.
4. Any request by immigration agents for information or to access a school site shall be initially denied and immediately forwarded to the Superintendent and General Counsel for review and a decision on whether to reverse the denial and allow access to the site, and/or a decision on whether the information will ensure District compliance with Plyler v. Doe and other applicable laws. The request must be provided 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.
5. District personnel shall treat all students equitably in the receipt of all school services, including, but not limited to, the free-and-reduced lunch program, transportation and educational instruction.
6. The District will not enter into agreement with state or local law enforcement agencies, ICE or any other federal agency for the enforcement federal immigration law, except as required by law.
RESOLVED FURTHER: That the Superintendent shall ensure that all teachers, school administrators and other staff will be trained and information will continue to be distributed to families to fully inform them of their rights in the District.