John Young, who introduced the measure, was visibly upset by its failure to pass. Even before the meeting, he vowed to keep fighting to have the resolution – or one similar to it – approved.
“I can’t quantify my understanding or belief of how many of those kids or how many of those families are scared,” he said, positioning the resolution as a response to the current state of political affairs and the Trump administration’s stance on immigration. “One is too many.”
He said the resolution was not “overtly defiant,” but would route all requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, agents through the superintendent’s office. It would have also prohibited staff from asking students about their immigration status or about the immigration status of their families.
Okay, the resolution would have done two things. First, it would establish a procedure for ICE to employ, and second, it would prohibit staff from asking students about their, and their families, immigration status.
Well… that seems completely reasonable. Not kidding. 100% reasonable. We are discussing children here – minors. Surely there should be a standard procedure of who is allowed access to them in school and when. In fact, this makes me wonder how secure these schools are if a procedure as basic as this is not already in place. Can law enforcement just walk into any school, at any time, and approach minors for something they are not even guilty of doing? Because, you know, they are minors.
Going through children to reach adults is wrong. It’s also a distasteful and lazy way of doing your job.
Board member George Evans weighed in:
That specifically is what board member George Evans objected to. He had several concerns about the resolution, not least of which it would place district staff and administrators “in the line of fire” by asking them to deny requests made by federal agents.
“It takes a position to present a demand or obstacles to federal officials who may want to take some action either at a school or something along those lines,” he said, adding, “That’s not the way the law works.”
He wanted the resolution to be vetted by the district’s lawyers or edited down substantially. He also wished to remove parts of the resolution that told staff not to ask about families immigration status, calling it “censorship.”
“In the line of fire” strikes me as a ridiculous statement. Again, why isn’t a procedure for this in place already? And no one is denying agents access. They are simply asking them to go to one place, the superintendent’s office, to make their request to see a student. That’s beyond reasonable. Handling, and keeping track of this data, at one location is a no brainer. How does this work now? Do schools share this info with District? Is there a central file kept?
This really makes a parent wonder. Who exactly is the school allowing access to? Is it only ICE? Doubtful – since there doesn’t seem to be a central procedure in place, or they could have just piggy-backed this onto existing protocol. Guess it just depends on the school and who’s sitting in the main office.
And then there’s this gem of a statement: “It takes a position to present a demand or obstacles to federal officials who may want to take some action either at a school or something along those lines.” Demand or obstacles = contacting the superintendent’s office. I still can’t believe this isn’t standard operating procedure. It’s so… basic. These ICE requests should be directed to one place and the superintendent’s office seems the logical choice. Why should teachers and school administrators be involved in this? Do they, at least, have a procedure? Is it uniform across all schools?
Evans went on to say: He also wished to remove parts of the resolution that told staff not to ask about families immigration status, calling it “censorship.”
Censorship? This guy brings on the drama. Why would a staff member ask a minor about their families immigration status? If a child volunteers that information, that’s one thing, but to question a child about this crosses every line of decency. This is not the job of teachers/school staff. And any teacher/school staff asking this question – and playing ICE officer for a day – should be fired.
Let me be clear. There’s a difference between knowing the immigration status of a child due to a personal relationship and flat out asking a child, “What’s your immigration status?” The latter is used for what? Dropping a dime on a child?
And if we follow Mr. Evans’ logic about censorship then that opens a whole can of worms. Can a teacher/staff member ask a child about their religion? If their parents are LGBTQ? If they’re adopted? How much money their parents make? Have their parents ever been convicted of a crime? Why not? I mean, if censorship is George Evans’ concern then that opens up all sorts of conversations.
Dear Christina parents,
If I were you, I’d be calling the district today and finding out exactly what procedures are in place for teacher/staff conversations and how access to your child – by anyone – is handled. Because it sounds like there isn’t a chain of command.
Remember, we’re talking about gaining access to adults through children. CSD board members who voted against this measure should be ashamed of themselves. Schools should be a safe place for children. What’s next? ICE agents and over-zealous teachers/school staff trailing children home? Given Evans’ statements, I wouldn’t put it past them. He’ll cite “Freedom of Movement” granted by Privileges and Immunities Clause of the United States Constitution.
Here’s the deal: If you can’t do your job without involving children then you’re probably bad at your job. Sorry, but you never go after children. That’s my cardinal rule.