We support our DACA students9/6/2017
Dear PPS Families and Staff,
The recent decision to rescind protections granted under the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, or DACA, is a cause for deep concern at Portland Public Schools. It could have serious consequences for some of our students. These “Dreamers” are children who were brought to this country at a young age by their parents, and for many this is the only country they know. They need and deserve the best education we can offer. We offer our strongest support for these students and their families.
We want to remind all of our students and families that, under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, we will not turn over information about the immigration status of our students. Nor will any of our staff ask about the immigration status of any student.
Since 2012, when President Barack Obama created DACA through an executive order, the program has been a source of hope and stability for students everywhere, including PPS. It has allowed them to pursue their studies, careers and dreams without fear of deportation. Halting the program may cause severe disruption of their lives and make it far more difficult to focus on their educational goals.
As leaders of PPS, we want to restate our commitment to providing safe and inclusive learning environments for all of our students regardless of race, gender, gender identity, religion, ethnicity or immigration status. We will not waver on that commitment, despite this decision. The decision to rescind DACA, along with other events in recent months, may cause some students to come to class with real fears about how they will be treated. This is a reminder that there is no place at PPS for discrimination in any form.
As educators, we take these ideas to heart, and treat any incident of discrimination, bullying or harassment seriously. Let us be very intentional as we engage our students in ways that point them toward thoughtfulness, empathy and respect for their classmates.
As a Board, we made equity and inclusion part of our mission, vision and goals because we want every student to have access to the best education, and thrive in a place where their contributions are valued. Their future is our future.
We want all of our students to feel safe, to learn in a welcoming classroom and to be unafraid to dream.
Julia Brim-Edwards, Chair, PPS Board
Antonio Lopez, Assistant Superintendent for School Performance
Dr. Van Truong, Interim Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning