Portland Public Schools passes resolution to protect undocumented students

PPS Board celebrates the passing of a resolution that will protect undocumented students. (KPTV)

Some Portland Public School families are concerned about what could happen to undocumented students in light of President-elect Donald Trump’s stance on immigration.

With a vote of 7-to-0, Portland Public Schools passed a resolution to protect undocumented students from potential ICE raids on campus.

“Even if there’s no physical walls, we cannot let invisible walls be built between us,” one board member said at Thursday’s meeting.

Parents and community members attended the meeting, which addressed the school’s role with Immigration and Customs Enforcement access.

“Portland Public School staff shall not ask about a student’s immigration status or that of the student’s family members,” one part of the resolution says.

Raahi Reddi is a parent of a kindergartner in a Portland Public School, and is in support of the newly passed resolution.

“This is one step forward in at least ensuring that all of us in our school district - leadership, parents, are in it together to create that safe space for all of our kids,” Reddi told FOX 12.

Reddi sat side-by-side with local advocate, Octaviano Merecias during the meeting.

“The political shift affects everyone, especially the Latino and immigrant communities, and communities of color. I think this is the beginning to send a strong message - that in times of uncertainty we are united,” said Merecias, with Latino Network.

The resolution requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to notify the district before showing up on campus. The superintendent would also be authorized to ask for credentials.

“We do not need people coming in and pawing through kids’ records, coming into the school, if they’re going to do that, let them do it outside of our schools,” one school board member said.

In addition, the resolution supports a plan to train teachers and administrators how to respond if ICE personnel were to contact the school. It’s a decision by the district that many parents applaud.

“It creates a good step to ensure families that they will be safe. When their kids go to school, they’re there to learn and not be taken away by ICE or have their information given away,” Reddi explained.

Also in Thursday’s meeting, board members talked about how the San Francisco Public School District has declared itself a “sanctuary district” — which protects students from disclosing their immigration status.

PPS board members say they will talk with the superintendent, with hopes of taking that step also.

For more information on the PPS resolution, click here: www.pps.net/cms/lib8/OR01913224/Centricity/Domain/219/VERY%20FINAL%20Immigration%20Resolution%205.pdf

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