Denver Board of Education Resolves to Protect Students Safety and Emotional Well-being Regardless of Immigration Status

Photo: Latin Life Denver Media

Board adopts “The Safe and Welcoming School District Resolution”

After hearing from dozens of community members, Board of Education members unanimously approved “The Safe and Welcoming School District Resolution (English and Spanish),” which commits to providing “safe and welcoming spaces where all students are able to focus on their education, secure in the knowledge that the district will support their safety and emotional well-being regardless of immigration status.”

The resolution states that any immigration law enforcement activities that take place at schools, on transportation routes, on Denver Public Schools’ (DPS) property or during school activities significantly interfere with students’ Constitutional rights, including the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the Constitutional right to access a free public K-12 education.

photo by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media

photo by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media

“In light of recent local and national events surrounding immigration and refugees, DPS sought to address the ‘fear and uncertainty’ many of our students and families are experiencing,” said Board Member Lisa Flores. “There is great strength and solidarity in standing together as a community to protect the rights of our students, and I am proud to present this resolution tonight.”

The document states that DPS commits to “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.” It calls out several specific actions, including addressing that DPS does not and will not collect information on students’ immigration status, and will not provide access to students without a valid search warrant.

“This has a lot of personal meaning for me because I am an immigrant myself,” said Board Member Rachele Espiritu. “My husband is a political refugee from Vietnam. I share that because I understand the silent suffering and anxiety that is happening for so many of our students and families, and so I hope that this resolution helps them feel safe in our schools and at our activities.”

“I want to thank the board for your leadership and forceful courage in this,” said Superintendent Tom Boasberg. “Being in schools talking with families and teachers, I hear a lot of fear and confusion. Our job is to replace that fear with confidence and to give students hope for their futures.”

Additional information, including an Immigration Rights FAQ for families in multiple languages is available on the DPS website here.