Published November 19, 2016
In response to DPS students and families who have expressed feelings of uncertainty and anxiety following the election, the Board of Education unanimously adopted a resolution at the November 17 Board meeting committing the district to ensuring DPS schools are equitable, safe spaces for all of our kids.
The resolution cites the district’s vision that Every Child Succeeds and our Shared Core Value of Equity as the foundation for the board to “…publicly affirm its dedication and commitment to all of the students and families that we serve, the employees in our district, and the members of our community. We will continue to take any and all actions authorized by law and our policies to provide equal opportunities and safe learning spaces for all of our students.”
Superintendent Tom Boasberg read the resolution, which underscores the legal right of every child — regardless of immigration status — to receive a public education. The resolution also reinforces that federal and state laws prohibit school districts and public schools from discriminating on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender status, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy status, veteran status or disability.
“In times like this, our mission is more critical than ever,” said Boasberg. “We believe education helps bridge our differences and brings us together with respect and understanding rather than fear.”
“This resolution is not about political affiliation — at all,” said Board Member Lisa Flores. “We are in the business of educating our children, and in order to do that, our students need to feel safe, and respected, and that is what this resolution is about.”
Board Members Rosemary Rodriguez and Happy Haynes expressed pride in how DPS students have conducted themselves. “They have a lot of questions, and I’m not sure we have all the answers, but I think this resolution expresses that we stand united with them,” said Haynes. “In the past few weeks, I have heard heartbreaking stories about the fear and anxiety our children and their families are feeling. I think this effort of ours is to wrap our arms around our teachers and families and students — who should be focusing on learning — and not about their basic safety in our community.”
Added Board President Anne Rowe: “I am so thankful for the adults working in our system who wrap themselves around our kids, make them feel safe, allow their voices to be heard and take care of them.”
In addition to this resolution, the district has shared a message from Superintendent Boasberg and an Immigration FAQ for parents and families (also available in Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Amharic, French, Nepali, Russian and Somali).