Antioch School Board adds immigration status to information policy to protect illegal immigrant students or families

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 11, the Antioch School Board adopted a new policy regarding handling information of students and their families who are in the country illegally.

According to the staff report, “This policy was revised to reflect Assembly Bill 699 – new legislation mandating school district to adopt policy consistent with a model policy developed by the California Attorney General which limits assistance with immigration enforcement at public schools.

These changes reflect the recommendations of the California School Boards Association (CSBA).

In addition, the California Department of Education (CDE) Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) conducted a Civil Rights Review (CRR) of the Career Technical Education (CTE) program at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School during the 2018-19 school year. As part of the review, the reviewer advised the District to update this policy to reflect the recommendations from the California Attorney General addressing the following areas in order to provide a safe, welcoming environment for all students:

  • gathering and handling student and family information
  • responding to requests for access to school grounds for immigration enforcement purposes
  • responding to the detention or deportation of a student’s family member
  • responding to hate crimes and bullying related to national origin or ethnicity”

According to the Legislative Counsel’s Digest, AB699 prohibits “school officials and employees of a school district, county office of education, or charter school, except as required by state or federal law or as required to administer a state or federally supported educational program, from collecting information or documents regarding citizenship or immigration status of pupils or their family members. The bill would require the superintendent of a school district, the superintendent of a county office of education, and the principal of a charter school, as applicable, to report to the respective governing board or body of the local educational agency in a timely manner any requests for information or access to a schoolsite by an officer or employee of a law enforcement agency for the purpose of enforcing the immigration laws in a manner that ensures the confidentiality and privacy of any potentially identifying information.”

The new policy includes the following language:

“Responding to Requests for Information

Unless authorized by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act pursuant to 20 USC 1232g, student information shall not be disclosed to immigration law enforcement authorities without parental consent, a court order, or judicial subpoena. The Superintendent or designee shall annually notify parents/guardians that the district will not release student information to third parties for immigration enforcement purposes, unless the parent/guardian consents or as required to do so by a court order or judicial subpoena.

Upon receiving any verbal or written request for information related to a student’s or family’s immigration or citizenship status, district staff shall:

  1. Notify the Superintendent or designee about the information request
  2. Provide students and families with appropriate notice and a description of the immigration officer’s request
  3. Document any request for information by immigration authorities
  4. Provide students and parents/guardians with any documents provided by the immigration enforcement officer, unless such disclosure is prohibited by a subpoena served on the district or in cases involving investigations of child abuse, neglect, or dependency

Resources and data collected by the district shall not be used, directly or by others, to compile a list, registry, or database of individuals based on national origin, immigration status, religion, or other category of individual characteristics protected against unlawful discrimination.”

The Federal Educational Rights and Policy Act “allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.”

In addition, the policy’s language states, “The Superintendent or designee may refer a student or his/her family members to other resources for assistance, including, but not limited to, an ICE detainee locator, legal assistance, or the consulate or embassy of the parent/guardian’s country of origin.”

The policy was adopted 4-0, as Trustee Diane Gibson-Gray was absent.

The complete AUSD policy can be read, here – AUSD Response to Immigration Enforcement – with changes

the attachments to this post:

AUSD Response to Immigration Enforcement - with changes
AUSD Response to Immigration Enforcement – with changes

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