Safe School Resolution
SALT LAKE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Safe School Resolution
WHEREAS, all children in the United States have the right to a free and appropriate public elementary and secondary education, regardless of their or their parents’ actual or perceived national origin, citizenship or immigration status; and
WHEREAS, the Board embraces its responsibility to welcome and educate all students and uphold its mission to provide an excellent and equitable education in every classroom, to every student, every day; and
WHEREAS, the Board is committed to ensuring that schools and District facilities are safe and welcoming places for all students and their families; where students are able to focus on their education, be secure in knowing that the District will support their safety and emotional well-being regardless of immigration status, ethnicity, national origin, race, or religion; and
WHEREAS, families have expressed their concerns about sending their children to school out of fear that deportation will occur while their children are in school, or that immigration officials may involve our schools; and
WHEREAS, the District cannot and does not inquire regarding the immigration status of a student or the student’s parents and/or guardians as part of the admissions process; and
WHEREAS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy characterizes public schools as “sensitive locations,” places where, in the normal course of business, immigration enforcement actions should not occur, and, to date, the District has not had any contact by federal immigration authorities; and
WHEREAS, the Board finds that if federal immigration law enforcement activities were to occur at our schools, on our transportation routes, on our District property, or during our school activities, it would significantly disrupt the learning environment and substantially interfere with our students’ constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizures and to access a free public education.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board reaffirms its commitment to provide an equal opportunity for all District students to attend and enjoy opportunities and benefits available in our schools, regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, national origin, or immigration status, and to be free from harassment and intimidation.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, in its continued commitment to the protection of student privacy, the District will continue its practice to not collect or maintain any information about our students’ immigration status.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, in accordance with existing Board policies and District procedures, the District does not allow any individual or organization to enter a school site or District facility if the educational setting would be disrupted by that visit; which includes any individual or agency attempting to enforce federal immigration laws. The District shall do everything in its lawful power to protect our students’ confidential information and ensure that our students’ learning environments are not disrupted by immigration enforcement actions, including the following:
- All District employees shall immediately contact the Executive Director of Policy and Legal Services upon receipt of any request by a federal, state, or local agent or officer attempting to enforce federal immigration laws (a) for entry into any District school or other District property, (b) to communicate with any student while that student is under the supervision of the District during any school activity or while using District transportation, or (c) for any information about our students. No request shall be granted until it has been reviewed by the Executive Director of Policy and Legal Services.
- In reviewing and responding to such requests, the Executive Director of Policy and Legal Services will not allow access to our students unless required to do so by law, and will do everything in the District’s lawful power to protect the constitutional and legal rights of the District’s students. For example, unless the official presents a valid search warrant issued by a federal or state judge or magistrate, access to any student will, except in the rarest cases, be denied. In very narrow and rare “exigent circumstances,” which are defined by federal law, the District will legally be required to allow access without a valid search warrant. However, it is extremely unlikely that exigent circumstances will be present while our students are engaged in school activities because exigent circumstances generally involve situations where law enforcement is in hot pursuit of a fleeing criminal suspect or where evidence of a crime is about to be destroyed.
- In responding to requests for student information, the Executive Director of Policy and Legal Services will ensure compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), student constitutional privacy laws, standards for a judicial warrant, and any other applicable limitation on disclosure. This review shall be conducted before any production of information is made.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the District shall provide training, and additional resources if needed, for its existing crisis and emergency response teams in order to help ensure the safety and well-being of our students who may be impacted by immigration enforcement actions; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the District shall post this Resolution at every school site and distribute it to District staff and parents in all the predominantly used languages of the District; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board and District shall update any policies and procedures necessary to implement and shall broadly communicate the commitments of this Resolution.
The foregoing resolution is hereby approved and adopted by the Board of Education of the Salt Lake City School District at its regular public meeting held in Salt Lake City on this 21st day of March 2017.