“Our job is to teach kids, and we can only do that if they feel safe.” CCUSD School Board President Steven Levin cut straight through any questions about the “Safety for All” resolution being proposed tonight, November 22, 2016, by the board.
The board meeting tonight at 7 pm at City Hall will take on the volatile political climate with a resolution focused on ‘safety for students and families’ The text of resolution #4 ( included here below) is focused clearly on protecting children from the proposed federal anti-immigrant policies. While both the city of Los Angeles and the state of California have made statements in regard to non-cooperation with the proposed federal policies regarding deportation, the CCUSD School Board, along with Superintendent Dr. Josh Arnold, has crafted a resolution to solidify the local response to the issue.
Board Vice President Kathy Paspalis offered, “I hope this resolution sends a strong signal to our entire community that we intend to do what we can to provide a safe and supportive school environment for all of our students and their families. We have a diverse community which we celebrate and honor. We hope the incoming administration will do so as well.”
Another resolution on the agenda will seek to consolidate the school board elections with the statewide general election. This proposal has been discussed on many levels for more than a year, and those hoping for approval seek to increase voter participation and save the money needed to support a local stand-alone election.
The meeting will be held in the Mike Balkman Council Chambers, and public input is appreciated.
Resolution #4 – 2016/2017
Success For All Means Safety For All:
Culver City Unified School District Campuses as Safe Zones
and Resource Centers for Students and Families
Whereas, the United States Supreme Court held in Plyler v. Doe (1982) that no public school district has a
basis to deny children access to education based on their immigration status, citing that children have
little to no control over their immigration status, the harm it would inflict on the child and society itself,
and equal protection rights of the 14th Amendment; Whereas, even though large scale Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operations have not yet been carried out in Southern California, a shift signaled by the incoming Federal Administration’s immigration enforcement rhetoric has created a climate of heightened fear and anxiety for many CCUSD students and their families; Whereas, ICE activities in and around schools, early education centers, and adult school facilities and/or fear and anxiety around such potential activities would be a severe disruption to the learning environment and educational setting for students; and Whereas, some government agencies have adopted policies that resist any government action that may lead to the discovery of a person’s immigration status;
Whereas, ICE’s 2011 policy states that it will not conduct immigration enforcement activity at any
sensitive location, which includes schools, without special permission by specific federal law enforcement
officials; unless exigent circumstances exist; Whereas, there is no written state or federal law that mandates that local districts assist ICE in the enforcement of immigration laws; Whereas, the City of Culver City is home to and our CCUSD student body and staff consist of people of many different faiths and no faith, as well as many houses of faith, including Christian, Jewish, and Muslim churches, temples and mosques; Whereas, many in our community have concerns that the incoming Federal Administration has signaled it intends to have a registry for people of a particular faith which has further created a climate of heightened fear and anxiety for many CCUSD students and their families;
Whereas, the City of Culver City is home to and our CCUSD student body and staff consist of lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender people; Whereas, many in our community have concerns that the incoming Federal Administration has signaled it believes in “conversion therapy” and other restrictions to the LGBT community’s civil and human rights, including restricting parental, adoption and marriage rights which has further created a climate of heightened fear and anxiety for many CCUSD students and their families; Whereas, CCUSD prides itself on being a beacon of diversity, understanding, and acceptance; now, therefore, be it Resolved that the Board declares that every Culver City Unified District site is a safe place where students and their families can seek help, assistance, information, and sanctuary if faced with fear and anxiety about related immigration enforcement and/or “registration” efforts, or any other efforts to curtail or deny civil or human rights, and that we will protect our students’ free speech and promote civic engagement across every grade level and learning context;
Resolved further, that the Superintendent shall establish all K-12, child development centers, and adult
schools as resource and information sites for students and their families, and that the Board encourages
the Superintendent to increase and enhance partnerships with community-based organizations and legal
services organizations who provide resources for families facing deportation and/or registration and/or
other civil rights restrictions as a result of actions of the incoming Administration, and that a rapid
response network be created to assist any affected children and their family members;
Resolved further, in order to provide a public education, regardless of a child or family’s immigration
status, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, gender, or any other protected class under
California law, including but not limited to disability, absent any applicable federal, state, or local law,
regulation, ordinance or court decision the District shall abide by the following conduct:
1. District personnel shall treat all students equitably in the receipt of all school services, including but,
not limited to, educational instruction, the free and reduced lunch program, and transportation;
2. District personnel shall be reminded not to inquire about a student’s immigration status, religion,
disability, or sexual orientation, including that of family members;
3. Any request related to immigration status, or by anyone tasked with registering people of a particular
religion, for information or to access a school site shall be immediately forwarded to the Superintendent
for review and a decision on whether to allow access to the site, and/or the information to ensure District
compliance with Plyler and other applicable laws;
Resolved further, that the Superintendent shall ensure all teachers, school administrators, and other staff
will be trained on how to implement these directives, and notification will be distributed to families to
fully inform them of their rights in the District; and, be it finally
Resolved, the Board instructs the Superintendent to forward a copy of this resolution to the City of Culver
City’s delegation members of Congress.
Hats off to the board and administration for bringing this resolution forth and for the parents and community who are advocating, supporting and embracing it. This is a true coming together of our wonderful Culver City community, at a crucial time, when we need it the most. Thank you to all. My heart overflows with gratitude.
Culver City, together with the City of Los Angeles and the State of California proudly stand in the forefront of civil rights.