Welcoming Schools Toolkit
This toolkit provides students, parents, and community members with the information and tools they need to work with their schools to enact policies to ensure that all students, regardless of immigration status, are welcome, safe, and protected in the school environment. The toolkit includes sample resolutions and policies that can help keep children safe from immigration enforcement raids, protect student privacy, and affirm a commitment to acceptance and inclusiveness.
We began creating this toolkit during PICC’s 2016 Summer Youth Convening, when many youth expressed fear of raids in the community, lack of knowledge of what to do if immigration came to their homes, neighborhoods, or schools. After the fall election, PICC was flooded with questions from parents and teachers across PA, asking whether it was safe to send their children to school and what schools could do to protect students. We spent months interviewing students, parents, community leaders, teachers, and school board members to ensure that we were able to provide information and tools that would help immigrant communities advocate for the policies and practices needed to create safe and welcoming schools.
In early May 2017 , ICE agents attempted to enter a school in Queens NY to look for a 4th grader, and was turned away according to school policy. Communities in Pennsylvania now have the tools to make sure every school in the state has a similar policy!
We thank the Stephen and Sandra Sheller Center for Social Justice at Temple University Beasley School of Law (Sheller Center), Jennifer Lee, supervised professor, Tessa Carson, J.D Candidate 2017, Ashley Rotchford, J.D Candidate 2018 and Emily Diaz., J.D Candidate 2018 for your work and dedication working with PICC and members to create this toolkit.