Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Californians Together has as its mission to ensure that all children and specifically English Learners in our State have full access to a high quality 21st century education.
The recent election has put our goal in jeopardy for students and their families who are here undocumented. We encourage everyone to join us to ensure that students and their families are supported and protected so that they can receive a quality education and live without fear.
Many teachers, parents, administrators, and others have contacted us via emails and phone. They express fear about the threat of deportation for their students and their families. Teachers have described students crying, and others being so anxious they can’t concentrate. They have reported heightened harassment of student groups targeted in political rhetoric. They want to know what to do to provide support for a safe and secure school and community.
As Californians Together, we are equally concerned that the language leading up to the election, the continued talk about deportation, and the uncertainty our families feel has created a very oppressive environment across our state and nation.
As an initial effort to provide resources for teachers, schools, and parents, we have reached out to others in the immigrant rights community to provide concrete suggestions, advice and referrals for specific problems.
ACTIONS AND INFORMATION FOR EDUCATORS
Schools Boards: Pass resolutions that the district will not allow federal Immigration and Control Enforcement (ICE) to enter school campuses or that the district will not provide student data. Resolutions should be communicated widely to the community. Los Angeles and San Francisco have resolutions in place.
Districts: Compile and provide resource information for undocumented and mixed status families about organizations and supports that can provide legal and other help (see attached).
Teachers and counselors: Share information about board resolutions and about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) with students who are concerned about what DACA status may mean for them moving forward (see links below). Counsel students in need.
National Immigrant Law Center: Know your Rights
Immigrants Rights Under a Trump Presidency – available in English and Spanish
Schools: Establish procedures/protocols for student safety if a student is in school when a parent or guardian is detained, the emergency contact cannot be reached, and there is no one to either get the child home or to school. Communicate the procedures/protocols to children and families so they know the plan and that school personnel have a way to care for the children.
All district employees, front office staff, administrators, etc.: Remind staff of Plyler v. Doe rights that ensure children’s right to attend school regardless of immigration status, and forbids schools from asking about immigration status of children or families.
All school administrators and staff: Reinforce anti-bullying program practices to staff and students. Intervene immediately in instances of harassment.
Links to support and suggestions for educators:
Post-Election: Recommendations for school Administrators, Educators, Counselors, and Undocumented Students
Election Processing Circle Plan: Community building and support allowing for conversation and reflection.
I am not Afraid Curriculum for all Educators and Organizers, for our Children (A Response to the US Presidential Election and Donald Trump)
Anti-Defamation League: Current Events in the Classroom – Let’s Talk about the Presidential Election (see attached lesson plan)
Anti-Defamation League: Talking with Children After the Election
Anti-Bias Leaders in Early Childhood Education: Post Election – What do we say to the children?
We are and will continue to listen to the voices of our students and their parents and to make sure that our schools and communities are safe and free from bias, discrimination, and deportations. Please stand with us in support of the children. Feel free to share these resources far and wide, and if you have any others to add, email them to Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, Executive Director, Shelly@californianstogether.org
Hoping and working for peace,
The Californians Together Executive Board