Broward County schools will become a safe zone of sorts for immigrant students and their families under a resolution passed on Tuesday by the school board.
In what supporters called a first-of-its kind action in Florida, the School Board of Broward County took several steps intended to protect the children of undocumented immigrants who face increasing fears of deportation under more aggressive immigration enforcement policies implemented by the Trump administration.
Immigrant families “wanted to know that we had their backs, and now with this resolution we have their backs,” said Robin Bartleman, the school board member who proposed the measure. “We weren’t afraid to stand up and say we’re going to protect our children.”
The resolution came in response to concerns voiced by residents, who told board members that many immigrants have started taking extra precautions to get children to school. Some now walk children to school, instead of driving, to avoid any infractions that could get them pulled over and deported. Others have begun sending their children to school with copies of immigration paperwork tucked in backpacks.
The resolution states that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents cannot enter schools or the sites of school-related activities like sports games and field trips without a warrant, and that any requests to access a school or get information about a student will be directed to the school district attorney’s office.
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Fernandez, SEIU Florida