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Undocumented children are essential members of our communities and schools. It is in the national interest to ensure that all children, including undocumented children, have the opportunity to reach their full potential and become productive members of society. The right to a free public education is the most effective method of securing this opportunity, and should not be denied to any child.
This right is secured under the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Plylerv. Doe (1982). Per this decision, undocumented school-aged children are entitled to have access to a high quality and free public K-12 education. The Maryland Dream Act, which supports the education, lawful employment, and legal authorization of immigrant students to drive, was approved overwhelmingly by Maryland voters in a 2012 referendum.The U.S. Department of Education Fact Sheet on Safe Spaces is available here, including limitations on DHS immigration enforcement actions at sensitive locations (which include schools).
MCPS is committed to welcoming all students, regardless of immigration status. (See MCPS policies and the Superintendent's memo). Also CASA Maryland is an excellent resource for undocumented students and families, offering a "Know Your Rights" workshop in English and Spanish.
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Resources for Undocumented Families
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A subcommittee of the Health & Safety Committee
1. If you are interested in becoming involved, email email@example.com and I will add you to our list. The Sub-Committee is open to any and all who are interested. We're working on setting up a listserv to facilitate communication. We will also continue to share updates through the MCCPTA Board of Directors and Delegates listservs. Please feel free to share these updates within your school communities.
2. MCPS recently released an interim report on school safety and security. The interim report covers MCPS' 25 high schools. A comprehensive review of all MCPS schools is currently underway. The MCCPTA Sub-Committee will share comments on the report with MCPS Department on School Safety and Security (DSSS). We encourage you to read the report and let us know if you have any questions, concerns or comments.
3. A number of PTAs have expressed an interest in resources for promoting positive school climate and safety, including but not limited to cyber bullying and safety, healthy dating, sexual and gender-based violence, racial justice, rights and protections for undocumented students and families, restorative justice and non-violent conflict resolution strategies. I am currently compiling a list of resources appropriate for use by public school systems and PTAs. If you have any to recommend, please send them forward and I'll add them to the list. We will continue to update and share the list.
4. This PowerPoint presentation prepared by Board of Education member Jill Ortman-Fouse focuses on issues of equity within our school system. It includes a lot of data and information that may be of interest to your school communities. Please feel free to share it.