Applicably of Policies to Immigration Enforcement
- Bellingham Public Schools adheres to all requirements of federal and state law.
- The provisions of this policy shall apply to Bellingham Public Schools and all school facilities, which include (but are not limited to) adjacent sidewalks, parking areas, sports facilities, playgrounds, and entrances and exits from said building spaces.
- Bellingham Public Schools policies prohibiting participation or aid in immigration enforcement shall apply for enforcement activity against students and their families, staff and volunteers.
- Bellingham Public Schools personnel shall presume that activities by federal immigration authorities, including surveillance, constitute immigration enforcement.
Access to Schools
- Bellingham Public Schools has a responsibility to ensure that all students who reside within their boundaries can safely access a free public K-12 education.
- Bellingham Public Schools does not exclude students from receiving an education or unlawfully discriminate against anyone because of their race, color, national origin, age, disability, gender identity, immigration or citizenship status, sex, creed, use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, sexual orientation or on any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law.
- Bellingham Public Schools will uphold its responsibility to all students and ensure that all staff and volunteers are aware of the rights of immigrant students to an education
Immigration Enforcement on School Campus
- Bellingham Public Schools does not grant permission for any person engaging in, or intending to engage in, immigration enforcement, including surveillance, to access the nonpublic areas of Bellingham Public Schools facilities, property, equipment, databases, or otherwise on school grounds or their immediate vicinity. Bellingham Public Schools staff shall direct anyone engaging in, or intending to engage in, immigration enforcement, including federal immigration authorities with official business that must be conducted on Bellingham Public Schools property, to the school principal or authorized designee prior to permitting entrance to school grounds.
- If anyone attempts to engage in immigration enforcement on or near Bellingham Public Schools’ grounds, including requesting access to a student, employee or school property:
a. Bellingham Public Schools staff shall immediately alert and direct the person to the school principal or authorized designee, who shall: verify and record the person’s credentials (at least, name, agency, and badge number), record the names of all persons they intend to contact, collect the nature of the person’s business at the school, request a copy of the court order or judicial warrant, log the date and time, and forward the request to the superintendent or designee for review.
b. Bellingham Public Schools staff shall request that any person desiring to communicate with a student, enter school grounds or conduct an arrest first produce a valid court order or judicial warrant.
c. The superintendent or authorized designee and/or legal counsel shall review the court order or judicial warrant for signature by a judge and validity. For Bellingham Public Schools to consider it valid, any court order or judicial warrant must state the purpose of the enforcement activity, identify the specific search location, name the specific person to whom access must be granted, include a current date, and be signed by a judge.
d. The superintendent or authorized designee and/or legal counsel shall review written authority signed by an appropriate level director of an officer’s agency that permits them to enter Bellingham Public Schools property, for a specific purpose. If no written authority exists, the superintendent or authorized designee and/or legal counsel shall contact the appropriate level director for the officer’s agency to confirm permission has been granted to enter school district property for the specific purpose identified.
e. Upon receipt and examination of the required information, the superintendent or authorized designee and/or legal counsel will determine whether Bellingham Public Schools shall allow access to contact or question the identified individual and will communicate that decision to the school principal or authorized designee.
f, The superintendent or authorized designee and/or legal counsel shall make a reasonable effort, to the extent allowed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), to notify the parent/guardian of any immigration enforcement concerning their student, including contact or interview.
g. The superintendent and/or legal counsel or authorized designee shall request the presence of a Bellingham Public Schools representative and translator (when needed) to be present during any interview. Bellingham Public Schools shall not permit access to information, records, or areas beyond that specified in the court order, judicial warrant or other legal requirement. Bellingham Public Schools may request an interview take place in a discreet location to protect the privacy of students and staff.
Gathering Immigration Related Information
Bellingham Public Schools staff may review, but shall not inquire about, request, or collect any information about the immigration or citizenship status of any person. Staff shall not seek or require, to the exclusion of other sufficient and permissible information, information regarding a student’s or his/her parent or guardian’s citizenship or immigration status.
Responding to Requests for Information
- Bellingham Public Schools staff shall not share, provide or disclose personal information about any person for immigration enforcement purposes without a court order or judicial warrant requiring the information’s disclosure or approval by school principal or authorized designee. Requests by federal immigration authorities shall be presumed to be for immigration enforcement purposes.
- Bellingham Public Schools staff shall immediately report receipt of any information request relating to the school principal, supervisor, superintendent or designee.
- Bellingham Public Schools shall, to the extent allowed by FERPA, notify an affected student’s parent(s) and/or guardian(s) immediately of any request for information relating to immigration enforcement unless advised otherwise by legal counsel.
Legal References: RCW 43.10.310 – Immigration enforcement model policies;
Management Resources: 2020 – December Issue
2020 – August Issue