LAS VEGAS – In the Clark County School District – where 322,000 students reportedly speak 70 different languages and half claim to be Hispanic – trustees vowed not to cooperate with immigration officials.
“We need to protect the children,” trustee Linda Young said at a Thursday board meeting. “With all that’s going on in the world, we need to protect the children.”
Young was among six trustees who approved a resolution promising not to divulge student information to any immigration enforcement agency “unless there is a parent consent, a judicial warrant, subpoena, or court order,” the Associated Press reports.
The move, trustee Carolyn Edwards said, is the district’s response to President Donald Trump’s call to crack down on immigrants living in the country illegally, as well as alleged taunting of Hispanic students by their peers.
“We will continue to do what we are already doing in terms of protecting the privacy of our students,” Edwards said.
The Las Vegas Sun reports:
Buoyed by public support from Nevada Rep. Dina Titus and well-known Dreamer and immigration activist Astrid Silva, the vote makes CCSD one of a handful of school districts that have passed similar resolutions, including Portland Public Schools and the Oakland Unified School District. …
Local parents and teachers who spoke in public comment told personal stories of seeing students bullied on account of their skin color in the months since Trump’s election. Concerns that the divisive rhetoric was creating a hostile learning environment was the main reason the resolution was brought by Trustee Carolyn Edwards.
The move follows similar resolutions in numerous other city school districts in recent months, including Los Angeles and Oakland, California; Portland, Oregon; Santa Fe, New Mexico; El Paso, Texas; Denver and Minneapolis, the AP reports.
It also comes a day after President Donald Trump signed executive orders Wednesday to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and to strip federal grant money from “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement, though the latter does not specifically reference schools, according to ABC News.
“Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders,” Trump said Wednesday.
Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration is worrying a lot of parents in Clark County, prompting an overflow crowd at the Thursday meeting with dozens voicing their concerns to the school board.
Grandmother Vicenta Montoya told board members she tutors a 9-year-old girl who is tormented by her fourth-grade classmates who sing songs about possible deportation.
“They said, ‘You’re gonna go. You’re gonna go. They’re going to take you,’” Montoya said. “This is affecting all students.”
The Clark County resolution, which was backed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and the Rogers Foundation, does not change any existing district policy and was simply a symbolic gesture for Hispanics.
It passed with a 6-1 vote, with trustee Chris Garvey as the lone dissenter, KSNV reports.
The Clark County School District is the fifth-largest in the United States with a geographic area nearly the size of New Jersey that encompasses 351 campuses, including 49 high schools, according to the AP.