Although there has been a long period of inactivity, Save Our State is still in operation. That stated, we would like to gather some input from all associates in regards to an issue that has surfaced in Caifornia's governing executive branch, specifically the Superintendent of Public Instruction. A recently issued press release by the education department declares that Californians will be denied the protection of US immigration laws. the Superintendent specifically has stated in writing that the enforcement arm of US immigration law, ie ICE, DHS, Border Patrol, et al, will be denied access to public schools. The superintendent as further encouraged all school districts not to cooperate with immigration authorities and refrain from soliciting or requiring any documents which may expose anyone's immigration status.
SOS has largely refrained from activities directly in front of public schools with a few exceptions. Generally we saw public protests in front of K-12 schools as earning more negative publicity than the end result would earn us in advocacy of our cause. In addition, we sought not to create battlegrounds in areas where impressionable students might end up bearing the brunt of our actions, and creating chaotic or unfavorable atmospheres where a learning environment is necessary.
At this juncture though, the State Superintendent has taken a very public step to involve the department in the immigration debate. Rather than react to this as a challenge, We consider the point that a public official, one of the state's elected executive officers, is denying federal protection to the students, parents, and faculty, as well as visitors on public school grounds. Consider that if you will; The executive branch of our state is denying you the protection of federal law enforcement.
We are soliciting your input on addressing this issue by activism in front of K-12 schools. This activism would be best carried out by advising students, parent, and visitors to the schools of their right to cooperate with federal authorites, their first amendment right to report federal crimes, their right to the protections of federal law, and to point out to everyone involved that the schools chief has opened the schools to this scrutiny with his obviously politically motivated public statements.
Again, we would welcome your input on how to address this, and whether you might consider taking some action in relation to this.
You may also find the State Superintendent's statement at this link:
Save Our State
December 21, 2016
Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Principals:
PUBLIC SCHOOLS REMAIN SAFE HAVENS FOR CALIFORNIA’S STUDENTS
In this time of uncertainty, anxiety, and fear I strongly encourage you to join me in declaring our public schools “safe havens” for students and their parents and to remind families about existing laws that protect them and their students’ records from questions about immigration status.
Unfortunately, since the presidential election, reports of bullying, harassment, and intimidation of K-12 students based on immigration status, religious, or ethnic identification are on the rise.
As State Superintendent of Public Instruction, safety is my top priority. And my strongest commitment to you, your students and their families is that schools remain safe places to learn. California serves more than 6.2 million kindergarten through twelfth grade students with the most diverse population in the nation.
Parents should know they are welcome on our school campuses regardless of their immigration status. We encourage all parents and guardians to participate in their school communities and in the education of their children. Engaged parents play a key role in helping our students succeed. That is one reason encouraging parent engagement is a top priority for California schools and one of the key local indicators of success for our schools and districts.
The California Department of Education will continue to provide local educational agencies (LEAs) with guidelines about existing laws that protect student records, including:
The 1984 Supreme Court decision Plyler v. Doe requires schools to enroll all eligible children regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.
State and federal laws prohibit educational agencies from disclosing personally identifiable student information to law enforcement, without the consent of a parent or guardian, a court order or lawful subpoena, or in the case of a health emergency.
Districts must verify a student’s age and residency, but have flexibility in what documents or supporting papers they use. They do not have to use documents pertaining to immigration status.
To determine age, for example, an LEA can rely on a statement from a local registrar, baptismal records, or an affidavit from a parent guardian or custodian.
To determine residency, an LEA can rely on property tax receipts, pay stubs, or correspondence from a government agency.
Since LEAs do have wide discretion in what records they use, I strongly recommend that they do not collect or maintain documents related to immigration status.
Some California districts, such as the Los Angeles Unified School District and Sacramento Unified School District, have declared themselves to be “safe havens” to let their communities know they will maintain a welcoming environment for all students and parents. I support this message.
Here is an example of a resolution from the Sacramento City Unified School District http://www.scusd.edu/sites/main/file...nded_final.pdf.
Together, we can make it clear we will do our best to make sure the prospect of the deportation of undocumented students and their families will not interfere with helping our students succeed.
Our schools are not and will not become an arm of the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE). Instead, they will remain safe places for learning and teaching for all students, regardless of immigration status.
Please join me in spreading this message. We can and must support each other as California leads the way forward.