Nev. School District Reaffirms Support for Immigrant Students
The resolution doesn’t change any district policies but sends a message to students, according to trustees.
A Nevada school district became the latest school system to pledge support for its immigrant students Tuesday.
Washoe County Schools trustees unanimously voted to reaffirm the district’s support for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, at a board meeting, reports kolotv.com.
FERPA, a federal student privacy law established in 1974, prevents school districts from releasing student information regarding citizenship status to immigration officials.
The district’s decision to adopt a resolution supporting the law is just one of several strategies school systems across the country have adopted in anticipation of changes to immigration policies under President Donald Trump.
Campus Safety has reported on the University of California’s pledge not to cooperate with immigration officials unless they have a court order. That pledge outlined the role of campus police in federal immigration matters and directly criticized Trump’s campaign rhetoric surrounding immigration.
Education officials in Connecticut also presented a draft policy similar to Washoe’s stating that immigration official requests would be denied and forwarded to the superintendent of schools, who would demand a signed warrant before cooperating. The Los Angeles Unified School District approved a policy that protects information about immigrant faculty members, family members and students in “direct response” to Trump’s victory.
Many meeting attendees in Washoe applauded the trustees’ decision. The trustees said they don’t expect to lose federal funding because they’re pledging to follow a federal law.
“We are not here to make any kind of a statement on immigration at all,” Washoe County Board of Trustees President Angie Taylor said. “That would be inappropriate. We are here to make a statement on education and keeping kids safe so that they can get an education.”
There is currently guidance created under former President Barack Obama that says immigration work should not be conducted at schools, but many people in the education industry expect President Trump to repeal that guidance.