South San Francisco, CA September 17, 2019 Submitted by Peter Feng, PIO SSFUSD
The South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) board of trustees passed a resolution at its September 12 meeting to refrain from collecting information about the immigration status of students and families who enroll in the district.
The move comes as part of an effort by the district to ensure equal opportunity and educational equity amidst new rules at the national level tightening restrictions on immigrants inside and outside the United States.
“Education, especially public education, is the cornerstone of our democracy and the gateway to a brighter future,” said SSFUSD Superintendent Dr. Shawnterra Moore. “Our district is committed to fostering an environment where all students can excel, regardless of race, color, creed, class, or national origin.”
Dr. Moore said SSFUSD has not in the past collected information about the immigration status of students and families, but she said the resolution puts the district on record and is the first step in making this practice official district policy.
“We want our students to develop the courage to embrace different ideas and perspectives as they explore the world,” said Dr. Moore. “We believe this is best done by creating an environment where students are free from fear and persecution.”
As part of the resolution, the school board cited a 1982 Supreme Court decision (Plyler v. Doe), which held that local school districts have a constitutional mandate to educate all students residing within their boundaries regardless of immigration status.
The resolution also states that the district shall take legal measures to protect the privacy of its students; refrain from releasing information concerning the immigration status of its students to federal immigration agencies without a warrant or similar legal instrument; and resist the creation of a federal registry aimed at identifying individuals based on age, race, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.
SSFUSD serves the communities of Daly City, South San Francisco, and San Bruno.
The district is home to a highly regarded science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program and more than 8,000 students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.