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    Continued Support for Undocumented Students
    Posted on 09/11/2019
    District logo with yellow background and text "Seattle Public Schools"

    Continued Support for Undocumented Students

    Seattle Public Schools has reaffirmed and strengthened its commitment to providing the maximum legal protection to undocumented students while at school. Seattle Public Schools is committed to educating children regardless of immigration status. We remain steadfast in this commitment to our students and their families.

    The decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Plyler v. Doe ensures all children are legally entitled to equal access to a free public education regardless of immigration status.

    On August 30, 2019, Superintendent Denise Juneau approved revisions to Superintendent Procedure 4310SP, Relations with Law Enforcement, Child Protective Agencies, and the County Health Department. Revisions to 4310SP build on procedure adjustments made in 2017 and strengthen the district’s stance in the protection of our students and their educational rights. Read 4310SPpdf icon

    Key points of Superintendent Procedure 4310SP: Relations with Law Enforcement, Child Protective Agencies, and the County Health Department:

    • The district will never ask for or record information regarding a student’s or family member’s immigration status.
    • Schools and school bus stops are sensitive locations and Seattle Public Schools supports the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy that enforcement actions do not occur at, nor are focused on sensitive locations.
    • If an agent from ICE requests information about a student, or requests access to a school building or district property, district and school-based staff will refer the agent to the SPS Office of the General Counsel.
    • A judicial warrant will be required before an immigration agent, such as an ICE officer, is permitted to access a district school.
    • General Counsel will review credentials, including the judicial warrant to conduct action and determine whether to grant approval of access or not.
    • Prior to access being granted, district legal counsel will review the warrant to ensure:
      • It is signed by a judge;
      • Properly identifies the agency with the authority to search;
      • Correctly identifies the search location(s);
      • Includes the correct date and has not expired; and
      • References a specific person; and if so, allow ICE to contact or question only that person.

    Seattle Public Schools is home to students from 150 countries of origin and speak 147 languages/dialects. Our diversity is our strength.

    The uncertainty of these times continues to cause tremendous apprehension for our families and students and negatively impacts students’ well-being and academic success. Seattle Public Schools has a legal and moral obligation to provide a great education to all our students. This procedural change is one step we are taking to make sure our undocumented students feel safe at school and can fully engage in their learning.

    Changes to Superintendent Procedure 4310SP have been shared with school leaders, and additional training and family supports will be provided, as they have been in the past.

    Related School Board Resolutions:

    • School Board Resolution No. 2016/17-12: Resolution Affirming the Provision of Safe, Welcoming, and Inclusive Schools for All Students Without Regard to Race, Religion, National Origin, or Immigration Status. Read Resolution No. 2016/17-12PDF icon
    • School Board Resolution No. 2017/18-5: Supporting Undocumented Students. Read Resolution No. 107/18-5PDF icon