The Pleasanton school board is set to debate a resolution Tuesday that would declare the district a “safe haven” for students and families facing immigration enforcement or discrimination.
The proposed resolution reaffirms the district's commitment to nondiscrimination and outlines how it would respond to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
"We commit to providing a safe environment where all are treated equally regardless of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, age, immigration status, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity, disability or need for special education services," an excerpt from the resolution reads. "This means that all children are embraced as full members of our school community, and that all students have a right to an education, regardless of any difference."
It goes on to state that PUSD "is a diverse school district in which 4,952 students speak at least one of 38 languages in addition to English," and that of the nearly 15,000 students, 8,263 are students of color and 1,466 are of Hispanic descent.
"The national presidential election has resulted in many students and families in Pleasanton expressing fear, hopelessness, sadness, and concerns for student safety, heightened because of intolerant rhetoric made over the course of the 2016 presidential race," the resolution reads. "Students and families across the district have experienced increased levels of hate speech based on their ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation since the election."
If the resolution is approved, the board would direct interim superintendent Micaela Ochoa to "support the creation of a safe haven school district." That status would uphold Pleasanton schools as safe spaces for students, staff and community members, "free from intimidation, hostility, or violence," the resolution reads.
The resolution also states that ICE agents would not be allowed to enter district sites without prior written approval from the superintendent. Existing ICE policy states that it would not conduct immigration enforcement activity at sensitive locations without permission from certain federal law enforcement officials.
The document also states the board will "reaffirm the authority of the superintendent to protect the data and identities of any student, family member, or school employee who may be adversely affected by any future policies or executive action that results in the collection of any personally identifiable information to the fullest extent provided by the law."
As a safe haven district, PUSD would encourage teachers to address issues around race and continue "to teach tolerance, acceptance, and inclusion in our schools."
School districts across the state have declared themselves safe havens for immigrant and undocumented students in recent weeks as President Donald Trump has called for an increase in deportations of those in the country illegally.
The Pleasanton school board’s discussion is set to take place as part of its open-session agenda Tuesday night, scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at 4665 Bernal Ave.
To learn more about other the board’s other agenda items, read this story.