IPS works to ease fear of undocumented students

Posted at 6:16 PM, Feb 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-23 19:00:02-05

INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Public Schools officials passed a resolution Thursday that reaffirmed their commitment to creating a safe and supportive learning environment for all students, regardless of immigration status.

Several executive orders signed over the past few weeks by President Donald Trump have left many immigrants afraid of deportation, and IPS officials said parents and students in their district have expressed similar feelings.

"There is fear there could be raids at any moment, at any place, at any place in time," said Cesar Roman, IPS parent and organizer for Stand for Children Indiana.

The resolution makes it clear to families that deportation will not happen on school grounds. It also states the district is committed to educating every child who walks into an IPS building.

It is a stance the district has always taken, but the resolution reaffirms where IPS stands.

District officials will not require social security numbers for students, nor will they ask a parent about their immigration status. IPS will also continue to follow federal policy, which keeps immigration officers away from schools.

“Children are constantly thinking about this,” said Roman. “I just had a mom tell me, ‘I think my children are going to bed thinking about this every night and how do I deal with the psychiatric trauma it has caused my children?’”

While the resolution can’t protect undocumented families at all times, IPS’ goal is to protect them while on school grounds.

In April 2016, IPS unveiled its Newcomer Program, that began providing additional academic and community support to students and families that recently immigrated to the U.S.

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