Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Superintendent Nyland Speaks Out on Immigration Issues

From SPS Communications:

Dear Seattle Public Schools families:

I recognize these are stressful times for many of our families. Last week, President Trump executed two executive orders related to immigration. While there are a number of implications, the two most publicized have caused many Seattle citizens to respond. One of the orders restricts residents from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the United States and the other reflects his campaign promise to build a wall on our southern border.

These actions have heightened a sense of anxiety for both families and students, particularly when one of the orders resulted in detainment of numerous people over the weekend.

Seattle Public Schools is home to students from 147 countries of origin and speak 143 languages/dialects. Our diversity is our strength. The detainment and potential exclusion of our Muslim, Mexican, and Latino neighbors, co-workers, and families has tested our resolve.

As I communicated in a November message after the election and most recently in a letter celebrating Martin Luther King Jr., the district is steadfast in our mission, priorities, and values.

Seattle Public Schools is committed to educating children regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, country of origin, or a student’s immigration status. We will do whatever it takes to make sure every student thrives and I want to reassure you, we will do everything within our power to make sure that all of our children are safe, honored, and respected while in our care.

Actions we are taking

  • The district is working closely with the City of Seattle, Seattle Education Association, families, and community partners to provide resources and supports to ensure all of our families and students feel safe and welcomed in their school communities.
  • We have hosted or supported numerous events for families so they know their rights.
  • Seattle Public Schools has articulated our response to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and shared this information with school staff.
Key points include:
  • The district will never ask for or record information regarding student or family immigration status.
  • If an agent from ICE requests information about a student, or requests access to a school building or district property, staff will refer the agent to the SPS Office of the General Counsel.
  • General Counsel will review credentials, submission of written authority to conduct action, and determine whether to grant approval of access or not.
  • We are also providing training and resources for staff on immigration rights and supports for undocumented, mixed status, refugee, and immigrant families. 
  • Finally, we are continuing to work with staff to ensure inclusive, safe, and welcoming environments for every child in our care.
Our commitment to the well-being of each and every student is stronger than ever. We are committed to building school communities where all students, families, and staff are safe, respected, and engaged. We expect everyone to be treated positively, without fear of bullying or intimidation.

If students or families ever have concerns, they should be raised with teachers and the school principal. Concerns can also be sent to the Office of Student Civil Rights at OSCR@seattleschools.org.

In closing, I call upon all of us to remember what makes America special – it is our diversity; it is our deep sense of justice; our fundamental belief in personal liberty; and it is our willingness to stand for and with those in need.

We believe in our constitution and the freedoms, protections, and opportunities it provides. Together, we must defend the values we hold dearly and stand for each other. I stand for all of our students.

Thank you for standing with me.
Dr. Larry Nyland
Seattle Public Schools


Benjamin Leis said...

I was talking about this my wife last night. We found this less than comforting:

"General Counsel will review credentials, submission of written authority to conduct action, and determine whether to grant approval of access or not."

So if the federal government decides to crack down and start deporting, passes laws and/or executive actions and sends ICE agents to Seattle, yes they will have to talk to the district's general counsel first and show their credentials but the district did NOT promise to resist such an order.

We're reaching the point when folks are going to have commit to what they will do when a legal but immoral action occurs.

Anonymous said...

I better clean out that basement room.

Bad policy

Anonymous said...

If Nyland had not ignored every email I have sent to him sharing my concerns I might be more inclined to buy the 'our families' nonsense. instead I am left believing he treats parents with the same contempt he has for teachers.

Done with Nyland

Anonymous said...

Lovely sentiment and let's say Nyland believes it. I want to think he does. I do think he does. But no way in hell he wrote that letter. The man can't put a paragraph together on his best days on public display. So then I think, more PR flimflam from Central. Look over here at our liberal flag waving so you don't look over there and see the mess that is school governance and funding and lack of student-first policies.


Anonymous said...

Word from some schools, for example Northgate elementary, that students and their families are very scared. If you feel the call to act, show up and support these kids - playground monitor, walking to and from school escort, etc.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

911, can you please cite your evidence of "Obama's order"?

-Fake News

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, 911, if you don't come back by 5 pm with an answer, that comment is gone.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

There is also this , http://www.newsmax.com/Parker/isis-muslims-terror/2015/12/20/id/706562/

Real News

Anonymous said...

Just another one, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/dec/30/house-democrats-introduce-legislation-condemning-a/

Anonymous said...

I think this is the piece de resistance,


Case closed

Outsider said...

Setting a precedent that federal law can be defied at the local level is not an unimportant thing. Think of all the times that federal civil rights law was enforced by federal officers in the old South against strident local opposition. Would that be possible in the future? Think of all the civil rights and environmental laws that certain states or localities would love to defy right now. If you can do it, why can't they? Not to mention, if federal law can be defied, why not state law?

In California, legislators introduced a bill to make it a sanctuary state, effectively opening their borders to the world and closing them to the federal government. That could start the process of California's secession from the US, and the breakup of California as northern and rural regions secede from the state. Instead of a neat blue vs. grey civil war like the old days, we could see a three-dimensional patchwork civil war where the US has ungovernable regions just like half the other nations on earth. I noticed trolls on alt-right message boards already talking about India-Pakistan style partition.

Message boards tend to overheat, of course, so maybe it's nothing. But what is the basis for American exceptionalism going forward? And if there is none, what basis do you have to expect this country to be different from all the others?

Anonymous said...

I find Dr. Nyland's words =>
"We will do whatever it takes to make sure every student thrives.
to be less than comforting given recent data.

Given the continuing large "opportunity gaps" for African/American students, why would I believe the SPS can make sure every student thrives going forward?

At this time, given Dr. Nyland's rhetoric and the data, my worries are less about the law and its enforcement than SPS decision-making.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Case Closed -You are right. The case is closed. The assertion about Obama was fake and none of your links provide evidence to support this made up "order." Nice try though.

-Fake News

Anonymous said...

It's time those fighting racism break the law like the racists did since they showed up on the shores of the Amerikas.


Anonymous said...

Come to my street and break the law.