DPS Board Affirms Resolution To Withhold Students’ Info From Immigration Officials

Photo: DPS Board member Lisa Flores
Denver Public Schools Board member Lisa Flores.

The Denver Public Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution Thursday evening that would direct staff to withhold release of student information to federal immigration officials -- unless required by law.

Any request by federal officials to communicate with or access students during school activities would be referred to the district’s legal office. The district would also require a search warrant.

Learn what DPS is doing to protect students: view resolution, immigration FAQ, family resources #studentsfirst https://t.co/UC15OLoCgt

Board member Lisa Flores said the resolution is necessary in response to increased deportations nationwide.

"Fear and uncertainty – that is what I have been hearing from students and my school community as I go out and visit folks," Flores said.

Superintendent Tom Boasberg said some students are afraid because of what he calls relentless scapegoating and stereotyping of undocumented immigrants.

Boasberg said under current federal law, schools are considered “sensitive places” where immigration enforcement should not happen.

"We will do everything in our lawful power to protect those constitutional and legal rights of our students," Boasberg said.

The district will also continue its practice to not collect or maintain information about students’ immigration status.

The resolution will be translated into 10 different languages and posted in schools. The district will also share with parents and community members with a flyer that answers frequently asked questions about immigration.

“These would be things like ‘if I’m a parent or guardian and I’m worried about my child being detained at school, what should I do?” said board member Rachele Espiritu.

The district will also send more support teams to schools to counsel students.

“There’s a lot of silent suffering and anxiety in our schools," Espiritu said. "We need to be proactive in helping our students and families with these issues.”