January 24, 2017
Dear David Douglas Community,
We are writing today to communicate and reaffirm that the David Douglas School District Staff and David Douglas School Board are committed to providing safe and respectful places of learning for ALL students.
On November 16th, a communication was sent out to share our District belief that all students are welcome and our commitment to ensure our schools are safe havens for learning, community building and a welcoming place for all.
Our mission at David Douglas is to provide meaningful, equitable and highly effective instruction so each student grows and thrives socially, emotionally and academically. Through supportive communities of learners, David Douglas staff fosters the whole child to be a force for positive change in the global society. We are committed to preparing our students for their future by providing high-quality, well-rounded educational programs both in and out of the classroom.
This mission starts with our students’ safety, and we want our community to know that our schools and our educational community will not accept any form of hate speech or violence, including but not limited to: bullying, harassment, racism, sexism, homophobia, trans phobia, xenophobia, ableism or any other form of discrimination.
As a district, we are committed to the safety, security and equity for all students. We want our community to know that the David Douglas Board Policy sets clear guidelines with explicit language of zero tolerance for any discriminatory or harassing behavior. This kind of behavior toward anyone in our schools will not be tolerated and will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
David Douglas Schools must and will remain safe and productive learning environments for each of our students. We take pride in serving every student and family who walks through our doors regardless of income level, national origin, religious affiliation, gender, race, or ANY other possible differences. Our core values emphasize our focus on our diversity and equity, along with an emphasis of fostering all students’ potential.
Over the past few weeks there have been questions in our state and around our community about what would occur if immigration officials wanted access to any of our students’ information. We want to be clear that per our own policy and statute, that without a warrant or other court order, any request of this type will be denied. All of our school leaders and office staff are directed to not release any student information without a warrant or court order as required by our policy.
Ultimately the law prohibits public schools from asking about, or maintaining information on, a student’s immigration status. We do not ask for, track, nor have this information to release. Public schools by definition are for everyone. We don’t turn away any child from receiving an education. As a District, we embrace this belief.
To assist with continued communication, the District has also developed an FAQ in an attempt to answer some questions that seem to be circulating in our community, and to clarify our Board Policy and expectations.
As was previously communicated, we invite you to reinforce with your students the importance of mutual respect for all and coming together as one community of teachers and learners. We urge us all to continue to work together to make David Douglas a great District where students Learn, Grow and Thrive. We are very proud of our students, community and staff and will continue to work to ensure our schools are safe places for all students.
Thank you for all you do to help make David Douglas a great learning environment for everyone.
Q: How will schools protect students and staff from harassment, intimidation or discrimination?
A: The District has a policy explicitly prohibiting “harassment, intimidation, menacing, bullying or cyber bullying.” It is not tolerated. Any reports of such behavior will immediately be investigated by administration, and disciplinary action taken when called for.
Q: What should students do if they feel they are being bullied or intimidated for any reason?
A: Students who feel victimized should immediately tell a trusted adult and report the incident to school staff.
Q: Does the District turn away immigrant students who lack documentation?
A: No. Any child who lives within the District’s boundaries, or who has properly transferred from another District, is welcome in our schools. The District does not ask or record the immigration status of any student or their families.
Q: Will the District release information about the immigration status of a student, or other personally identifiable information?
A: Pursuant to federal law, State law and our own policy the District does not disclose the immigration status or any other personally identifiable information about students to anyone without the consent of the parents and/or a court-ordered warrant.
Q: What would school administrators do if immigration agents came to their school to ask about the immigration status of students or their families.
A: They would deny this request and bring it to the attention of the Superintendents office. Any staff member who receives a request on any personally identifiable information should report this request to their administrator. Only school administrators can direct the release of information, and would not do so without the written consent of the student’s parents or a court-ordered subpoena.