Christina schools move closer to new safeguards for undocumented immigrants [audio]

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 The Christina school board wants to do all it can to protect the right of undocumented immigrants to attend district schools. (Christina School District)

The Christina school board wants to do all it can to protect the right of undocumented immigrants to attend district schools. (Christina School District)

A plan to assure Christina School District students who are in the country illegally that officials will go to great lengths to protect their right to a public education advanced Tuesday night with a unanimous vote by the school board.

By a 7-0 vote, the Christina board approved the “first read” of a new policy that reaffirms the district’s commitment to protecting undocumented immigrants in their schools. 

A final vote will take place at the board’s April 11 meeting, after the public gets a chance to provide additional input. While school districts in other states have approved similar policies, Christina would be the first in Delaware to do so. 

The proposal also spells out how school employees must respond should U.S.  Immigration Customs Enforcement agents show up at the door to remove a student or obtain records.

Under the policy, employees would be directed to refer them to the Christina superintendent’s office, where administrators can confer with district legal counsel to decide how to respond. Should agents decide to enter the school anyway to seize a student or files, employees would not be permitted to resist — only to notify the district office what has transpired.

Though reported in the local media as a “sanctuary” policy, board members and district officials stressed that it’s only intended to provide some measure of protection to enrolled students and assurance to their families. For example, a non-student who is in the country illegally cannot seek sanctuary or refuge in a Christina school.

District officials and board members stressed Wednesday that no deportation agents have arrived at their schools. But with President Trump vowing to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border as a part of a crackdown on illegal immigration, Christina officials said many parents have expressed fear that their children could be targeted and taken out of schools.

“The recent political environment has created a fear in the community of undocumented immigrants,” said board member John Young, sponsor of the proposal.

Staff cannot be “human shield”

Delaware schools do not ask a student’s immigration status, but Young estimated Wednesday that 200 to 500 of the district’s 16,100 students are undocumented immigrants. About 22 percrent of district students are Latino and nearly 12 percent are classified as English Language Learners, spokeswoman Wendy Lapham said.

The proposal also recognizes that “undocumented students do not have absolute protection from enforcement actions brought forth by ICE officials or agencies acting on their behalf. These actions range from requests for information to apprehension.”

In February, Young’s non-binding resolution to recognize the rights of undocumented students failed 4-3 because some board members feared that employees who resisted attempts by federal agents to seize students or records could be in “harm’s way” and subject to arrest themselves, Young said.

“I took their concerns to heart,” he said. So Young tweaked the language  with the help of district lawyers and decided to reintroduce it as a policy that also would provide instructions to employees in the event of a raid or visit by immigration agents.

Board president Elizabeth Paige said members who voted no in February “say they are in support of keeping kids safe while in our care.” Nor do members want employees “to be a human shield in any way.”

That vote, and subsequent media reports that the “sanctuary” policy did not pass, had the unintended effect of spreading fear among some families who kept their children from school, Young said. District officials have since reached out to the community to assure families that was not the case.

On Tuesday night, seven members of the public spoke in favor of the proposal, with none dissenting, Young said. 

Young acknowledged the new policy would not “provide an absolute measure of protection” because agents could still enter if they chose to seize records or detain a student. But he hopes that in such a situation, agents would contact the district office and go through proper channels so children “are not going to be snatched out of classrooms.”

Young also noted that in 2011 ICE issued a “sensitive locations” memo that says agents will not be looking to target places such as hospitals, churches and schools.” But since that policy does not have an “absolute prohibition,” Young said, that was more reason to craft a policy so parents and students know the district wants to protect them and their right to an education.

Lapham said that with so many district parents anxious over their status, “We are going to be a leader in this.”

 

 

Mr. John M. Young received his B.A. in History from the University of South Carolina and his MBA from the University of Delaware Lerner College of Business and Economics in January 2011. John has enjoyed a 19 year career as a retail professional with multi-unit responsibilities. John has managed in multiple retail segments including home improvement, consumer electronics, general merchandising, convenience, gas/oil distribution, marketing and currently in Sales and Lease Ownership. Companies include Home Depot, Circuit City, Target, Aaron’s, TravelCenters of America and Universal Delaware. John resides in Newark with his wife, Kathie and has a son at Shue-Medill Middle School.

 

 

 

ADDRESS:  109 Cypress Drive, Newark, DE 19713-2881

 

PHONE:  302-709-1795

 

EMAIL:  john.young@christina.k12.de.us

 

DISTRICT D – Term expires 6/30/19

 

Thed recne popoitcla environmentally national has creatd a fear in the co mmunityyh of coundoce tee d immigrants our qw K

WANTE RETO MAKE SRUE THYHE AHD SHOOLB OARD THAE AS PCQBLE OF EPXRESSING A FIRM THAT UNDOC IM MIGRANT DO HAV EA RIGHT O APUBLIE EDUATIONINT UEU NTIED STATE.S

 

THE REOS;LUTION PRESENTED ALSTE MONTH FAILE DON A4-3 VOTE AND IT WAAS ANEPRESSIO OF HOW WE WOULD TREAT AND EAL WITH WARRANT AND REQUREST FO RINFORMATION AS PROVIDED TO US BY FEDEERLA GECNEIS INT EH REA OF CUSTOMES ENFORCMENT AND what.

SOME RPESRESA EETHA THE WAY IT WAAS WRITTNE DID NTO PROVDIE SUFFICIETN COVER FOR O UR STAFF I TOOK THEIR C ONCERENT TO HEART.

IN HAT POLICY I INSERTE DLANGUAGE AND ADDITIONALSTEPS THAT WE’RE TYRIGN TO BIRNG OT OURSTAFF AND THAT ACTULA POOIC ETHEN WENT HROUGHOEN REVISIONPRIOR TO LAST NIGHT THAT WE SENT OUT TO OURDISTRIC’T ATTORNEY.

IA LWO PROVDIED AOCPY OF THP EOLICY TO THE aclu THAT THEY FUOLLY SUPPORT IT.

AND LASTN IGH WE HAD OUR FIRST READ.,..,WE WANT TO GIV HE PUBLIC AMPLE OPORUTNITYT OU NMDERSTAND. JUST LIE AREY ODING IWT YOU ARE PREOT GI YARE INTERSTED IN TLAKIGN TO US AB OUT WE’RE HAVING

 

ENOUGH OC OME OUT AND TLAK TO US EW’ER EBE HAIVNG PUBVLIC OCMMENT AT OUR SECOND READIN GINAPRIL.

THJERE WERE PAPPRXIATMELY SEVNE PSEAKER ALS TNIGHT THEY WER ALL IN FAVOR.

 

IT IN NOW AY IN HIBITS LAW ENFORCMENT FROM EXECUTING A WARTRNAT AONT HE BASIS OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. IRT PROVIDED THGUIDELIENS FOR HE ESURTAF WHEN THE PURPSOE I STO SLICITI INFORMATOINN OT EHA TNA TMEPT OR EMVOE A STUDENT TO A SOLELY ON THEIR STATUS AS A N UNCOUMENTED IMMIGrant!!!!!

THAT’ SNOT RR EAOSN THAT LAW ENFORCMETN CAN Xcome and  TLAK A CHILD.

THE POPLICY REIRECT THE TAARFT TO INFORM THE AGENCYT HEYAR ENOW LONGER EMPOWERED TO GRNAT ACCESS BU THTEY ARE EMPOWERED TO REFER THEM TO THE USPEINTENDED..Iwho will confere with our legal co usnel to ensure the l=order is lawful, F THE ORDER IS B LAWFUL WE WILL PROVIDE ACCESS….IF THEY

DECIDE TO INGOR ETHAT REUQEA ND BARGE THROUGH WTHEY ARE Af8irthermore directed to offer no physical resistance….

That federalagentsha ve ignored their request.,

We do p 2.22 we sure do.

I feel UTHORIZED TO A RE OFFERED TO

Ifeel comfortable we’r eont eh right track. Sthere is still a vetting.

 

If it had to guess of oru 15,00 it ocudl be les sthan 500, it could be les sthan 200.

We got some immediate feedfback that ths’w at excly did happen for some familie.s the news rporting was not inaccurate but it was unfortunet it waid we rejected a safe zone polic or stas they put it a sanctuary polic tye hea ldinewe a interpereted tomean we don’t protect4

We rejected a safe zone policy aos they put it as  sanctuy polc he haldinw ast hwe wont’ rptoect you the rejecmtion meant he atatus quo when inrelaity no change.

 

Not really protecting?

They do have the right o be here, so that’s an unieqivaoble statement, they and the creation of the steps that were demanding that our staff present ot agent to creat process that oge sour sutpindente. Provide an aboluyte measure a measure of protection fornt he ide athati’s goignot happen inreal tim and hcildr arne gogn to be snacehtc out of classroomswit hous ome measure eod due proess, in other words, trained official, making sure the IS and Dotted and Ts are corsse dand t hat’s a lawfulw arrant.

 

Npo com. Ice does hav eap ublic memo out aht thaw a lis to fhwat they call sensitive location locate thep refer not to act in. example woeudl bhopstials, funeral, church and indeed schools in iont hat list. This not high ont heir lsit but hat same list doensot prohibit them fromc omingin. Because ware nto putting staff in harms’ way. The policyhc reate porce sthat would inhib the ….

Does cgiv econform tot hsoe fmailie atht ehwne they are dropping their kids off that federal agencts with gusna re not going to be running into schools to pluck kids out.

 

 

 

 

 

This is not anopiion owhethe4 rimmigraitonpolicy is wright ow rong. Our schoola re not a venue for hat policy.

 

Elizabeth Paige

Last month mr. young he said heis ogng to giv you call at 9:05 he is going to give you call he presented a resolutiot to eh board last month for safe zone school. He didn’t’ use sanctuary it means a little he didn’t want it boe a politically charge resolution.

He put a reosllution befor eth eboar dthat crdated safe zone schools where ice agenc or anybody acting would ahv to go thorught ehe superintende’s office owld ahv e…

Under the oprigianl resolution it outline dhtey would have to go th rought eusupritnenet’s office so they woculd workwith council sot hey could asure the documents

Not tot the degree some the board members wer comfortable. Theuyar enot authorize dto let them in and had to got hrought esuprintenet’ too bad w’ere coming in..

Thewere board member who felt it wpautting teacher and staff in harms’ s way. Tellby telling them to resist these federal agents. Putting ghtem in the lien of fire. By saying

I don’t’ know what. Id otn thik he meant physical harm.

You don’ want to be itn eh position. Bo

My thoguth I want to create a asafet eivnrionent forstuent sins chools…

Other board members di dhave good qustiosn theyuw atned to get haeg leal drevie.w we typically don’t’ get so when the resolution failed..

But it still lost….i believe the vote was 3-4…3 yes…

7 members..

This was infebruary. Thiw asin feburary..

Mr. young then created paolicyt aoddres sthe ocncer sof board membdra dthe a lot of the discussion isntag iw ant to see legal review. We need our lawyer tor eview this issue. In oder tot legal review. Created apolicy you ahv epolicy requires to reads and we get legal review of new policies after he first read so we can make any changes or amendemetn sbeofere …

Last night was the first it passed uniamioylly..

You vot on the first read I that asse./oonteh second read it was unanimous vote to pas the first read…allows us now to send the policy for legal review.

They did our district staff provided this policy prior ot the first read which is not typical and otusid eo four normal process. It was not-buttopn issue sent eto council council gave feeback which het ake took into consideration that got sent to our cousneil and here’ the revisioin mr. youn made baed ont ehf eedbac and we hadnot yet heard back form c ouncil of his revision..

In april the 11th…second tueday of eachmonth…

Not that I know of. In our district or any othe rint hestage of Delaware

So, I don’t know that iw ould I think mr. young wanted tob e rpeapred…

Nobody had epxrese that sentiment even those who voted non the resolution ther ay in suprot of keeping kids afe while inour car…

 

The polic8i snot written to say yo are not get in the way if theyar einsistent nba  I the insent on getting I n. we odn’t ahv ethe auhroization jst want olet you know

 We’ renot aksing anybodyt obe human shield in anyway. He did aress ome of those cocnerns. That wer enot addresse it he resolution yoaur enot authorize to come ina nyw amake tell the district office that happened..

I suppor the policy it doens’ tsafet say thwhethe id isagre or disagrew withany of the eportation or issue ssoruount this very hot topic, it creates a process sthat’ suniform across the district, for ice agents, we’e taking tha ou do this and go thorught hes perintenet’ sofifc ena duse council to to his ads needed. And does creat auniform process.s so the same pereiner..

 

Ter allre other most of htem are in sanctuary cities..some in Colorado or seattle…

 

I thin most of ht eproting across may nymedia. Called it sanctuary when mr. young never authoriz thinlk

 

I know that’ swhew ord people y oung. I don’t’ want peope lthinkinf I any ice agent is chjasing you down the street and you run intour door, he doesn’t want people to think whet hear atalkgna ogbu this policy..

Cell number 753-5754

 

Lapham:

 

IT SORT5 OF HIGSH THE HITH POINTS a resolution borught the board…john young…so yes all of th actual material I sen you then linsk…

We havne’t aken a osition on it it’s eonmtihg propoaed throught eobard of education our school distirc tnad employee sinterewted in follwoign the law and creating wlecomign, jruting environment so student feelt heyu are safe and theya re being protected under th law..

Which is pretty clear. Ai’m sure mr. young also provides..

I don’t’ thint he district needs to so in cthe boar dit he govnerinr body of the district…

Delcarin gits commitment declaring to a safe and regardless sof eimmigraitn status. Also vote don passed unanimously…

I would say we deifntiely had experienced an increase in parents reaching oturhogush choo pricnipla n or difren chanel expressing their anxiety over this. There has been ainitnerests I this topic and whether Christina will fit in and whether we are goitn bo ea leader int his. Afte rlas t night I thinkw ear eht very first og o out and begint alkgaobu this on a ededirou slevela nd making some policy deicison on it..itt would be fair to say we have seen a rise inc ocnern and anxiety of verp aren’t..

Odon ‘thav eany date…

We’re tlakgon aob asubsectin of the population that is I don’t’ want tomake generalziatio theris oculd be apopulation that is immigrants or odncuments families not necessiarly belognitntoi tehust one ethnic.

I thint hat’s fiar to sayu if we look ath ttimeline of when the firdst resolutiownas aske thorughe net so qlw nigh ther have been meeting andother acitives that have focuse don’t hat commnmityt…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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