HISD Board of Education approves resolution that supports undocumented students

Resolution also opposes any travel ban proposed by the federal government  

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approves a resolution in support of the district’s immigrant community affected by the recent actions of the state and federal government related to immigrants and undocumented individuals in the United States.

The board is well aware that there are many who are negatively impacted by proposed state legislation and travel restrictions. The issues have caused significant concern among HISD students, staff and families. Under the resolution, the district would continue its efforts to provide a supportive educational environment for all students, regardless of their background.

“Our schools will continue to be safe and positive learning environments that promote student learning and development versus discrimination and fear,” said HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “Our schools will always be safe havens for our students. Places where they not only learn fundamentals but have the opportunity to learn a new language, a different culture, and explore career pathways.”

The resolution recognizes the rich diversity of the district while opposing any unnecessary travel restrictions that keep families apart by recognizing the stress endured by families who may be threatened by the travel bans. The board also opposes any legislation that may repeal the DREAM Act, which allows students, regardless of immigration status, to qualify for in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF THE HOUSTON INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY

WHEREAS, the Houston Independent School District (“HISD” or “the District”) Board of
Education (“Board”) recognizes and celebrates the rich diversity of its students, staff and
families (“HISD Community”), including many who are foreign-born and recent immigrants
to the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Board empathizes with any members of the HISD Community who have
been or may be negatively affected by recently imposed restrictions on travel to the United
States from several countries in Africa and the Middle East; and

WHEREAS, the Board supports our students and their families, many of whom are of
Hispanic heritage, regardless of their immigration status; and,

WHEREAS, the HISD Superintendent of Schools, Richard Carranza, in a recent open
letter to the HISD Community, stated that “[o]ur schools will continue to be safe and
positive learning environments” free of “discrimination and fear;” and

WHEREAS, the Board now wishes to express explicitly that it supports the integrity of the
families of HISD Community members, and opposes any unnecessary restrictions on
travel that keep those families separated; and

WHEREAS, the Board understands the stress endured by families whose integrity is
threatened by the imposition of travel bans, especially if the family member directly
impacted is a parent of an HISD student; and

WHEREAS, supporting the integrity of families of HISD Community members is
consistent with the Core Values of the District, especially “Parents are Partners,” which
provides that “[p]arents are valued partners in the educational process, serving as the
child’s teacher in the home;” and

WHEREAS, the Board has serious concerns regarding legislation that has been filed at
the state level which exacerbates growing insecurity among some of our families,
specifically Senate Bill 4, which authorizes state law enforcement officers to take an active role in immigration enforcement, as well as other proposed legislation that may repeal the
DREAM Act, which allows students, regardless of immigration status, to qualify for instate
tuition at state colleges and universities;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the Houston
Independent School District hereby expresses its support of members of the HISD
Community who are negatively impacted by travel restrictions, as well as proposed state
legislation, and reaffirms its commitment to be an education-focused environment, free of
insecurity and fear, for all its students.

What you need to know about immigration, discrimination, and your rights at HISD

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