An Open Letter to Parents and Guardians from Superintendent Flores
March 7, 2017
Dear Parents and Guardians:
Parents, students and school leaders have expressed concern for undocumented students in our school district since the presidential election and more recently when President Trump signed Executive Orders (Jan. 25, 2017). The purpose of this letter is to share some information with you about this topic.
All students, regardless of immigration status, have equal access to an education under the laws of the United States. The safety and well-being of our students remains one of the District’s top priorities. Our goal is to provide a positive school climate that supports learning and student success for all of our students.
Many school boards in California and the Nation are adopting resolutions about this issue. Our district, along with many other school districts in Santa Clara County, have adopted a resolution to affirm and express support for our students and our intention to abide by the laws set in place to protect them. To solidify our commitment to ensuring that our students receive a safe, productive and positive educational experience, the Gilroy Unified School District Board of Education recently passed Resolution #16/17-34. This resolution is attached. The resolution references laws that are already in place to protect our students’ rights.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), prevents the District from sharing or distributing student information with anyone or agency including I.C.E. without their parent/guardian’s written permission or a court order. Additionally, the district does not maintain records related to student’s or family member’s citizenship or immigration status and thus, cannot provide this information to outside agencies. The district does not ask about a student’s immigration status for establishing residency in the district. The District cannot discriminate based on the basis of race, color or national origin.
Enclosed with this letter is a list of resources for families regarding the immigration issue. I encourage you or your student to reach out to school staff if there are specific concerns or questions you need addressed.
Lastly, please be assured that our students’ safety is our top priority. We will continue to provide an educational learning environment that encourages and facilitates their success at school and in the classroom.
Deborah A. Flores