Photo by Brandon Yung
Assoc. News Editor
South Pasadena Unified School District school board members unanimously passed a resolution reinstating inclusivity and non-discrimination, especially in regards to students’ immigration status, at the latest school board meeting on Tuesday, February 14.
According to Superintendent Yantz, the resolution had been in the making over the past several months, and board member Julie Giulioni affirmed that the need existed for a resolution setting in stone the district’s attitude towards protecting students against unlawful or otherwise sudden detainment by government organizations like Homeland Security or ICE. With the passage of the resolution, SPUSD is joining the growing number of districts in the National Parent Teachers Association in a collective effort to protect students from potential detainment authorized by the new executive administration.
The resolution finds its legal basis in the 1982 Supreme Court Case Plyler V. Doe, where the court upheld that no government entity could discriminate against students on the basis of immigration status, including unauthorized immigrants. Alongside other provisions, the resolution means a few things: District personnel must treat all students equally and with respect, cannot inquire about a student’s immigration status, and that all federal requests for access to school site or information regarding students’ immigration statuses must be presented to the Superintendent for approval.
The district plans to do whatever it can within the bounds of the resolution to protect students against potential abuses or harassment by government agencies and departments so long as it does not interfere with state and federal law.
“As you know, the current election and the executive orders following the election have understandably created a climate of fear and anxiety for some students and parents,” board member Suzie Abajian said, explaining the reason behind the resolution.
While the ideas set forth by the resolution mirror the general attitudes of South Pasadena as a community, it nonetheless affirms the school district’s progressive attitudes and the community’s desire to protect students and maintain an inclusive and safe environment in light of a recent uptick in deportations ordered by the new executive administration.