by Rawan Elbaba
on September 06, 2017
We like you have just heard the breaking news of the administration's intent to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Admissions). More than 800,000 young people, including Arab Americans, will be devastated by this policy change. To keep our families whole, we need Congress to ACT NOW! Please take a moment to stand up for these families by asking your members to support the DREAM Act. You can do so by clicking here.
Of course, as we stand up for DACA, we also need to prepare our students to be safe and successful as they head back to school after a long summer break.
In the wake of the recent surge of hate incidents and hate crimes, it’s imperative that we prepare ourselves and students in our community for anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, and anti-refugee backlash. Last year, the Department of Education penned an open letter
urging schools and colleges across the country to block any form of harassment and discrimination.
Today, we must be even more vigilant and remind our students that they have rights.
Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, students are protected from being discriminated against based on their race, skin color, religion or national origin. Nearly 20 years after Title VI was first enacted, the Supreme Court confirmed, in Plyler v. Doe, that Title VI’s protection also extended to those who were foreign-born. In the United States, public school cannot refuse to admit a student based on their immigrations status.
Public schools cannot require you to have a Social Security number or a U.S. birth certificate; students have a right to education, regardless of their immigration status. Many schools across the country have also adopted “welcoming policies” in lieu of the Trump Administration’s instructions to expand the power and control of U.S. Customs Enforcement (ICE). These new policies are some of the first steps taken to protect undocumented students.
Students are free to express their religious beliefs freely; this includes wearing a hijab, crucifix or yarmulke. If English if not your first language, schools must provide language help
. Parents, you also have the right to receive communication from your student’s school in YOUR primary language.
You have every right to feel SAFE at school.
If you feel like your student’s rights have been violated at school, use the resources below:
These are but a few of the resources available. If you have a specific incident occur in your school district, contact us directly.