As many of you know, last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed reports that the administration is rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program over the next two and half years. DACA—established in June 2012—allows undocumented youth brought to the United States as children relief from deportation and gives them the right to work legally. Nearly 800,000 young people have participated in this program. The Pew Research Center estimates almost 7 percent of current K-12 students are undocumented or have one undocumented parent at home. Many DACA participants have graduated from high school or college and are valuable contributors to their communities. These children and adults include members of our greater independent school community across the country.
The National Association of Independent Schools, the national membership organization comprising 1,700 independent schools, released a statement this week which includes the following, “As schools, we have a fundamental responsibility to provide a safe environment for all students. A large portion of the bias incidents and hate crimes in the country over the last year have occurred on campuses. It is our duty to help every member of our community understand that while diversity of opinion and dialogue are to be encouraged, bias and discrimination will not be tolerated in our schools.” Similarly, Seattle Public Schools released a statement that the district “stands with our governor, state attorney general, local legislative delegation and elected city and county leaders against the end of DACA. We have hope that Congress will act swiftly to find a positive solution.”
At Lake Washington Girls Middle School, the safety of our students is of utmost importance. We believe we have a responsibility to protect children and create a safe and healthy environment for all students, and we support the right of all students to attend school. We are committed to educating children regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression, country of origin or immigration status. We will never ask for or record information regarding student or family immigration status.
It is also important to us that every member of our community is valued. As a diverse school community that places a value on social justice, we will work together to steward the school as an inclusive and welcoming place for our students and their families.
Head of School
For additional information, please see the resources listed below provided by NAIS.
Background on DACA
- 5 Questions About DACA Answered (NPR)
- DACA By the Numbers (Newsweek)
- DACA and Employers: Rescinding DACA could cost 700,000 workers their jobs and employers $6.3 billion in employee turnover costs (Business Insider)
Immigration Information for DACA Recipients
- DACA (Immigrant Legal Resource Center)
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Resources (National Education Association)
- Immigration Resources (American Federation of Teachers)
- Family Preparedness Plan (Immigrant Legal Resource Center)
- Beyond Deferred Action: Long-Term Immigration Remedies Every Undocumented Young Person Should Know About (Educators for Fair Consideration)
- Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Youth (U.S. Department of Education)
Emotional Support for Community Members
- Supporting Students Experiencing Childhood Trauma: Tips for Parents and Educators (National Association of School Psychologists)
- Supporting Marginalized Students in Stressful Times: Tips for Educators (National Association of School Psychologists)
- Supporting Vulnerable Students in Stressful Times: Tips for Parents (National Association of School Psychologists)
- Immigrant and Refugee Children: A Guide for Educators and School Support Staff(Teaching Tolerance)
- Resilience: Uplifting Families Through Healthy Communication About Race(American Psychological Association)
- 10 Tips for Talking to Children About Race (Embrace Race)
- Twelve Core Concepts for Understanding Trauma and Stress in Children and Families (National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
- School Counselors Working With Undocumented Students (American Counseling Association)