Denver Public Schools (DPS) educators gathered on the steps of the historic West High School campus today in support of keeping immigrant families together. Concerned by federal actions on the southwest border, educators and the Denver Board of Education reaffirmed to the community that DPS is committed to being a safe and welcoming school district.
“We hope our students are able to hear us today, because they matter most,” said Hamilton Middle School Principal Christian Sawyer. “Students, you are important in our world, and we as your principals believe in you as the future teachers, future scientists, future lawmakers and even future presidents. We are standing here together today for our kids.”
“I applaud our school principals for taking the initiative to raise their voices on behalf of our students,” said Superintendent Tom Boasberg. “DPS believes deeply in ensuring Equity – it is one of our core values. We’re firmly committed to having our schools be welcoming spaces where all students are able to focus on their education.”
The Board of Education’s Angela Cobian addressed the principals and called out the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Plyler vs Doe, and where the Court ruled that all children in this country have the constitutional right to receive a K-12 education regardless of their immigration status. “We know your hearts and minds are always with the children you serve. As a representative of the Board of Education, I want to ensure our families know that their children are safe in our schools.”
A resolution adopted by the Board of Education states that: “children suffering these traumatic events at the border reflect the children and communities that we serve in Denver Public Schools and, recognizing the fears that these events can create in our communities, we want to reaffirm our commitment to the Safe and Welcoming Schools Resolution, which prohibits district employees from sharing information about our students and families with federal immigration officials.”
DPS school leaders took time from their summer break to express their concern for children who are being traumatized by a fear that they will be taken from the safety and comfort of their parents after seeing images and hearing stories about family separation.
Attendees signed a poster that read, “All families are safe in Denver Public Schools.” The poster will be displayed where families and community members can see DPS’ continued commitment to students.