Tuesday, April 24, 2007

San Francisco School District Opposes ICE Raids and Supports Educational Rights for Undocumented and all Students

Some 300 SF teachers rallied for a fair contract and to support the striking Hayward teachers as well. Thanks to the bands, the Raging Grannies and The Angry, Tired Teacher Band from, of all places, Hayward Unified School District.

At about 10pm, our Board of Education also unanimously passed a new policy, with support from our legal office and immigrant rights activists, in opposition to the racist and anti-immigrant ICE raids. ICE is the federal government's Immigration and Customs Enforcement office. The resolution was sparked by our immigrant rights community-based organizations that have built stronger labor/community alliances with unions like SEIU, United Educators of SF, Local 2, United Health Care Workers and others. Last Month the Bay Area Immigrnt Rights Coalition [BAIRC] with our allies coordinated a week of actions against the ICE raids and for human rights and dignity for all immigrants. They are planning actions all over the Bay Area on May Day - May 1st.
“ICE agents left hundreds of families traumatized and living in fear after trampling through our neighborhoods and homes randomly arresting and deporting loved ones,”according to Larisa Casillas, director of the Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition.
ICE patrols have come through Richmond, San Pablo, Oakland, Redwood City, San Francisco and other cities in the Bay Area brutally detaining and deporting over 100 immigrants. According to ICE reports, over 13,000 immigrants have been rounded up nationally in deportation sweeps across the country since late January.

Our Board of Education Resolution is connected with immigrant communities and labor groups' advocacy with the SF Immigrant Rights Commission, SF Board of Supervisors, Mayor Office and other City agencies to commit to civil and human rights protections for all immigrants, including undocumented people.
Text of the new San Francisco Unified School District Policy:
SUBJECT: SF Board of Education Commitment to Education of All Immigrant Children and Opposition to Recent ICE Raids
By Eric Mar, Kimshree Maufus, and Jane Kim [all board members, including student delegates added their names as well].
WHEREAS, the City and County of San Francisco, just like many major cities in the United States, is the home and workplace of large immigrant communities with both ‘legal’ immigrants and ‘undocumented people’; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court in 1982 ruled in Plyler v. Doe that public schools were prohibited from denying immigrant students access to elementary and secondary public education. The Court stated that undocumented children have the same right to a free public education as citizens of the United States and permanent residents;
WHEREAS, there are no accurate numbers of how many undocumented children are enrolled in San Francisco’s public schools, approximately 32% of San Francisco Unified School District’s students are English Language Learners; and
WHEREAS, since the massive immigrant rights and civil rights marches and student walkouts in 2006 and in the last few months, federal, state and local government officials throughout the country have proposed or passed laws and ordinances that propose stemming the tide of undocumented immigrants by cutting off opportunities for jobs, government benefits, housing, and imposing fines on companies employing undocumented immigrants, thereby increasing tensions in immigrant communities;
WHEREAS, recent reports of ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office] raids in San Francisco Bay Area cities have caused immigrant communities to fear sending their children to schools and leaving their homes, even for needed medical services;
WHEREAS, in 1989, after organizing by immigrant communities and the Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Services, the SF Board of Supervisors passed Ordinance 375-89 making San Francisco a “City of Refuge” for undocumented workers anywhere from the world and the San Francisco Bay Area. In January 2006, the Board of Supervisors passed a Resolution 060067 Affirming the San Francisco’s City of Refuge Ordinance. The ordinance forbids city resources from being used to enforce federal immigration laws or to gather or disseminate information regarding the immigrant status of residents of the City unless such assistance is required by federal or state statute, regulation or court decision.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the SF Board of Education, in solidarity with immigrant community organizations like BAIRC [the Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition - http://www.immigrantrights.org/], the Immigrant Legal & Education Network and the City and County’s designation of San Francisco as a City of Refuge, in light of the increasing tensions in immigrant communities, and the possible chilling effect on the educational rights of immigrant students by the enactment of the aforementioned laws and ordinances, the Board of Education hereby restates its position that all students have the right to attend school regardless of the immigration status of the child or of the child's family members.
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED: That the SF Board of Education further states that all District students, who register for the following services and meet the federal and state criteria, are entitled to receive all school services, including free lunch, free breakfast, transportation, and educational services, even if they or their family are undocumented and do not have a social security number and that no school district staff shall take any steps that would deny students access to education based on their immigration status or any steps that would “chill” the Plyler rights of these students to public education.
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED: In order to provide a public education, regardless of a child’s immigration status, absent any applicable federal, state, local law or regulation or local ordinance or court decision, the District shall adhere to the following conduct:
1. District personnel shall not treat students disparately for residency determination purposes on the basis of their undocumented status;
2. District personnel shall not inquire about a student’s immigration status, including requiring documentation of a student’s legal status, such as asking for a green card or citizenship papers, at initial registration or at any other time;
3. District personnel shall not make unreasonable inquiries from a student or his/her parents for the purpose of exposing the immigration status of the child or his/her family;
4. District personnel shall not require students to apply for Social Security numbers nor should the District require students to supply a social security number;
5. If parent and or students have questions about their immigration status, school personnel shall not refer them to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office (“ICE”);
6. It is the general policy of the District not to allow any individual or organization to enter a school site if the educational setting would be disrupted by that visit. The School Board has found that the presence of ICE is likely to lead to a disruption of the educational setting. Therefore, any request by ICE to visit a school site should be forwarded to the Superintendent’s Office for review before a decision is made to allow access to the site.
7. All requests for documents by ICE should be forwarded to the Legal Office which in consultation with the Superintendent shall determine if the documents can be released to ICE.
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED: district staff, including administrators, central office, and teaching and site staff, will be adequately trained on how to implement this policy; and parents will receive notification in various languages of the new district policy to fully inform families of their rights in SFUSD; and
FURTHER BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That copies of this Resolution shall be distributed to all school sites, which are hereby directed to comply with the general guidelines and principles outlined herein. And, the Superintendent and Legal Office will ensure that the SFUSD Bilingual Community Council, ELAC – English Learner Advisory Committees, BAIRC, Immigrant Legal Education Network, SF Immigrant Rights Commission, the Mayor’s Office, and other immigrant community organizations are consulted and involved in monitoring the successful implementation of this policy.
More info BAIRC ImmigrantRights.org

May 1st Immigrant Rights Marches/Actions across the Bay Area

In Oakland
10:00 am gather at the Fruitvale BART station and march to the federal buildingin downtown Oakland. To get involved in the planning, Claudia Reyes claudia@mujeresunidas.net.

In San Francisco
12:00 pm people will be gathering at Dolores Street Park (Dolores Street & 18th) and start marching to Civic Center Plaza at 1:00 pm.

In Berkeley
Gather at 11 am in Sproul Plaza for a danza blessing
At 12:00 PM in Upper Sproul there will be a program with speakers and march to Berkeley City Hall
At 1:00 PM from City Hall people will either meet up with the rally at Oakland or in San Francisco.

In San Jose
MARCH with Youth, Students, Artists
Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
WHERE/ Donde: By Shakeys/Mi Pueblo Shopping Center/Story & King Rd)
WHAT TO BRING: Wear a white shirt and a brown arm band for solidarity/ Use una camisa blanca y una banda café en su brazo

Endorsed by FOCUS, L.U.Ch.A., SJSU & EVC M.E.Ch.A., DEBUG, (Watson) Brown Berets, Accion Primero de Mayo

For more information:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is soooo sweet. You pay out of your own pocket for their education and stop robbing mine.